Wishful Thinking

Tom DubberkeCorrespondent IJune 23, 2011

I saw this post on mlbtraderumors.com, which says that the Giants are one of six teams listed on Mark Ellis’s no-trade list and the Giants have already had internal discussions about acquiring him.  As I’m sure you know, Jemile Weeks is the A’s 2Bman of the future who, after an 0-for-6 night tonight is still hitting .321 with an .867 OPS through 14 major league games.

The thought immediately popped into my mind that a Barry Zito for Mark Ellis trade would be wonderful. Obviously, the two teams would continue to pay most of their existing contract obligations.  Mark Ellis is owed a pro-rated $6 million going forward, and Zito is owed (yeesh!) approximately $56 million.

That’s a big pill to swallow, but the Giants really need another middle infielder, this is a year when they are determined to try to win again while their starters are still at their peak, and in San Francisco Zito is obviously the sixth man in a five-man rotation.

Mark Ellis is a way underrated/underpaid player on both sides of the ball, at least according to fangraphs.  Meanwhile, the A’s would get in return a popular former player for the cost of Mark Ellis (actually, the A’s would probably have to throw in some amount of money up to a $3-5 million for each future guaranteed season of Zito), who might regain some of his old magic pitching back in Oakland.

Also, the A’s have had plenty of injuries this year to their young pitching (starters Brett Anderson, Brendan McCarthy and Tyson Ross are on the DL as I write this), and if the Giants eat most of Zito’s future salary, he would make a pretty good insurance policy against future injuries, since the one real value Zito’s had since signing his wind-fall contract is his ability to eat innings (an average of 191 IP per year for the four seasons before this one).  As disappointing as the Zito contract has been, he has certainly made a good 4th or 5th starter.

In his  second rehab start at AAA Fresno last night, Zito threw a complete game two-hitter in which he walked two and struck out seven.