Surprising exactly no one, the San Francisco Giants will pay left-hander Barry Zito $7 million to go away this winter.
The Giants announced Saturday they have declined their 2014 option on Zito and will pay him a $7 million buyout in lieu of the $18 million in salary he would have been owed next season, according to CBSSports.com.
Zito signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Giants in free agency following the 2007 season, but struggled mightily in San Francisco. The contract was, at the time, the largest ever given to a pitcher.
Zito, 35, was the American League Cy Young Award winner in 2002 when he was 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA and 1.134 WHIP for the Oakland Athletics.
He came to the Giants after parts of seven seasons (2000-06) in Oakland, where he was 102-63 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 1,430.1 innings over 222 starts.
He was never able to achieve anywhere close to that level of success with the Giants. He led the National League with 17 losses in 2008 and was 63-80 overall in seven seasons in San Francisco, with a 4.62 ERA and 1.439 WHIP in 1,139.1 innings. He appeared in 208 games for the Giants, 197 of them starts.
To be fair, Zito played a big role in the postseason in 2012, pitching 7.2 scoreless innings to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series when the Giants trailed the series 3-1. San Francisco eventually rallied to win three straight and advance to the World Series, where they swept the Detroit Tigers. Zito allowed one run in 5.2 innings to earn the victory in Game 1 against the Tigers.
Last year, Zito was 5-11 in 30 games, 25 starts, posting a 5.74 ERA and 1.703 WHIP in 133.1 innings.
Torres, who will be 36 in January, missed the end of last season with an Achilles injury after hitting .250/.302/.342 in 103 games and 300 plate appearances. The switch-hitting outfielder scored 33 runs and had two homers and 21 RBI.
Torres was a Giant from 2009-11, spent 2012 with the New York Mets, and returned to San Francisco in 2013.