Barry Zito will be back in 2015.
According to several reports, super agent Scott Boras told reporters at the Baseball General Manager meetings that Zito intends to pitch again in 2015. The left-hander sat out the 2014 season but always left open the possibility that he would return in 2015.
Zito was the Oakland A's first-round pick (ninth overall) in 1999 out of USC. He reached the big leagues midway through the 2000 season and immediately became one of the top left-handers in baseball. As a rookie, he defeated Roger Clemens in an ALDS match-up at Yankee Stadium and posted an ERA+ of 173 in 14 starts with the A's. In 2002, Zito won an AL-best 23 games and posted a 2.75 ERA en route to the American League Cy Young award. It is still the only season in his career in which he won 20 or more games.
Zito remained with the A's through the 2006 season, making the playoffs with Oakland five times. In 2006, he defeated Johan Santana in Game One of the ALDS versus the Minnesota Twins. The A's swept that series, moving to the ALCS for the first time since 1992. He finished his tenure with Oakland with a 102-63 record and a 3.55 ERA in seven seasons.
That off-season, Zito signed a seven-year deal with the A's cross-Bay rivals, the San Francisco Giants. Zito was never the same pitcher with the Giants that he was with the A's, but he was with the team during their World Series titles in 2010 and 2012. In 2010, Zito didn't appear in a post-season game with San Francisco, but in 2012, he made three starts, winning each of his starts in the NLCS and the World Series. In those two starts, Zito allowed just one run in 13.1 innings pitched.
If Zito makes a team's roster this season, he will be returning to MLB with a career record of 165-143 and an ERA of 4.02. He has appeared in 430 games in the big leagues, 419 of them as a starting pitcher. Zito will turn 37 in May.