Baseball Insider

Veteran left-hander Barry Zito is taking a break; he isn't retiring

Zito had a down year in 2013 but was a key to the Giants' championship in 2012. (USATSI)
Zito had a down year in 2013 but was a key to the Giants' championship in 2012. (USATSI)

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Barry Zito plans to take some time off, but he isn't retiring.

Curiously, almost nothing was written about Zito this winter, and the reason for that is there's no evidence he actively sought a job. Just the same, Zito isn't ready to call it quits, either, according to people in the know.

There was an early suggestion in a story about Zito taking time off to surf by Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area. Baggarly hypothesized it was possible Zito may take 2014 to "reboot." And that appears to be the case.

There's no word of anything physically wrong with Zito, who had a rough year in 2013 (5-11, 5.74) after bouncing back to post a stellar 15-8 campaign in 2012, when he helped the Giants win a second World Series title in three years, winning the key Game 5 of the NLCS at St. Louis that catapulted San Francisco back into the Series.

Zito is 165-143 with a 4.02 ERA for his career, all performed in the Bay Area with the Giants and A's. The Giants declined an $18-million option for him in 2014 but he still made $126 million on that seven-year deal with San Francisco.

Zito is just 36, so there may be time for yet another comeback if he decides to try it.

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