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Sabean would repeat Zito deal with no regrets

Sabean would repeat Zito deal with no regrets

Sabean would repeat Zito deal with no regrets play video for Sabean would repeat Zito deal with no regrets

SAN FRANCISCO -- Though Barry Zito's contract may have seemed like a symbolic albatross during most of his San Francisco tenure, Giants general manager Brian Sabean said Friday that he had no regrets over the deal the club gave the left-hander.

Zito, then a free agent, signed with the Giants for seven years and $126 million. At the time, it was the most lucrative contract received by a pitcher. Zito proceeded to post a 63-80 record with a 4.62 ERA for the Giants while finishing over .500 only once.

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That lone winning season happened to be 2012, when Zito went 15-8 and won two notable games in the postseason -- Game 5 of the National League Championship Series at St. Louis, with the Giants facing elimination, and Game 1 of the World Series against Detroit ace Justin Verlander.

That was what stuck with Sabean.

"As crazy as this sounds, if I had to do it over again, I would have done what we did to sign Barry Zito," Sabean said Friday during his annual season-ending summary. "We learned a lot from his time here, and our pitching staff has. And, quite frankly, when we needed him the most, he helped us win the World Series. I find great satisfaction and solace in that. He's a great person; he was a great professional in a Giant uniform, and he's going to be missed for a while."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has said that Zito, who is 5-11 with a 5.75 ERA this year, will most likely make a relief appearance during this weekend's series against the San Diego Padres.

The Giants will decline to pick up the $18 million option for 2014 on Zito's contract, though the move is not yet official. Zito then will receive a $7 million buyout.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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