Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants reached a preliminary agreement on the largest contract for a pitcher in Major League Baseball history, a US$126 million seven-year deal.
While there was no immediate confirmation from the Giants, details of the contract were provided Thursday to the Associated Press by two persons familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced by the team.
Zito's agreement, reached late on Wednesday night, includes a US$18 million option for 2014 that could increase the contract's value to US$144 million. The option would become guaranteed if Zito pitches 200 innings in 2013, 400 combined in 2012 and 2013 or 600 combined from 2011-13.
Zito was scheduled to have a physical yesterday and the Giants planned to announce their agreement with the three-time All-Star later in the day. His decision to sign with the Giants first was reported on MLB.com.
Zito's deal ties for the sixth largest overall, matching the US$126 million, seven-year extension agreed to this month by Toronto and center fielder Vernon Wells. Previously, the largest contract for a pitcher was Mike Hampton's US$121 million, eight-year deal with the Colorado Rockies before the 2001 season.
Texas, Seattle and the New York Mets also pursued Zito, the top available pitcher on the free-agent market.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but