Rangers Give Zito Deadline

According to the Star-Telegram, owner Tom Hicks emailed Scott Boras with the news that Barry Zito has until this weekend to accept the Rangers’ contract offer.

Hicks is quoted to have written:
“We’ve made a very strong offer. If we don’t have agreement with his agent by this weekend, we will pursue other alternatives.”

Kudos to Mr. Hicks, who was getting played by Boras since November. The Rangers did indeed make a very fair and strong offer, and deserve to get some kind of answer. Why should Texas wait around for someone else to make a better offer? Either Zito wants to play for the Rangers, or he doesn’t.

So it appears that the Mets will be bidding against themselves come Monday, as the Rangers were the only participating team that had the resources to put up a fight.

While the Mariners continue to insist on being part of the game, they still only have $5M to play with under their strict budget. They’ll be lucky to sign Steve Trachsel with that kind of money, never mind Barry Zito. Recent reports that they’re looking to move Adrian Beltre and/or Richie Sexson to free up dough are encouraging to Seattle fans, but unrealistic. It sounds like a great idea, except for one catch: nobody wants Beltre, and the punchless Mariners can’t afford to trade away a run producer like Sexson (remember, this is a team that just acquired Jose Vidro to be their DH).

The other pretenders in the Zito Sweepstakes are the San Francisco Giants, who are tapped out after giving future con Barry Bonds a $21M deal. Supposedly, Bonds is willing to defer most of the money, but do the Giants really want to have so much future debt to obtain Zito?

Boras is waiting for the $100M offer that he claims his client is worth. So far, there is no mystery team waiting in the wings, despite whispers from the Bronx and Anaheim.

As Vin Scully says, “pull up a chair … we’re going to be here a while … “

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.