Yesterday's New York Post had a brief article (Isn't that redundant? They are all brief!) about Barry Zito finally conquering the Yankees.
While one can argue that 5 ER and 7 walks does not a conqueror make, I decided to think (too much?) about what his struggles signal in the event the Yankees sign him as a free agent this off-season.
Does he struggle because the Yankees line-up is so strong?
Does he struggle because he puts extra pressure on himself? If so, then a giant red flag should be waving! The pressure of facing the Yankees pales in comparison to the 365 days a year pressure exerted by the print media and sports radio and the drunk rectal openings in the bleachers.
The Yankees have been saddled by Carl Pavano's $40 million and the remaining $24 million on Randy Johnson's contract. (I'd include Jaret Wright's remaining $10.5 million, but he is pitching as well as any intelligent baseball observer would have expected.)
Do the Yankees risk signing Zito to a 6-year/$60+ million deal only to see him wilt?
Or do they devote that money to bringing back proven New York performers, Andy Pettitte & Mike Mussina?
From a fantasy perspective, selling high on a recently-signed newest Yankee, Barry Zito, would be considered a shrewd move. Best case, he perform as at his typical $18 self - 15 W/3.75 ERA/1.25 WHIP. Worst case? See this year's Randy Johnson.