But the Giants managed to win a World Series in 2010, their first since 1954, before they moved from New York to San Francisco. Was that enough to justify the contract? Some may think so, while others will never understand how a pitcher could be given such a lucritive contract. Though Zito has not won 20 games in a SF uniform (which he only did once in Oakland), he has justified his value this season, winning 15 games and throwing 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball to keep the Giants alive in the NLCS vs St Louis. Maybe not worth the $19 million he is making this season, but he has done a very good job this season.
Back to not being worth the 7 years and $126 million. Even though there is no way to say its been a good contract, Zito has made 32 starts in every year except for 2011, pitching at least 180 IP in every season but 2011 and averaging less than a hit per inning pitched. Yes, it would be expected that he win between 17-20 games a season, but some of his earlier Giants teams were simply not that good. If you put his pitching stats for this season against his seasons of 2007-2010, you'd see the only major difference being his win loss record, which in 2012 was 15-8. He actually pitched less innings in 2012 than he did in 2007, 2009 and 2010 and managed the least amount of strikeouts than in any full season he pitched in his career. His 4.15 ERA was actually the same ERA he had in 2010, when he was 9-14 and did not pitch in a postseason game.