Ex-Giant Zito agrees to minor-league deal with A's 

click to enlarge Barry Zito, who left the A's for the Giants after the 2006 season, is returning to Oakland on a minor-league deal. - TONY AVELAR/2013 AP FILE PHOTO
  • Tony Avelar/2013 AP file photo
  • Barry Zito, who left the A's for the Giants after the 2006 season, is returning to Oakland on a minor-league deal.

Barry Zito is back in baseball — and he is staying in the Bay Area.

The former A's and Giants left-hander agreed Monday to a minor-league contract with Oakland that includes an invitation to spring training.

Zito, 36, confirmed reports with San Francisco Examiner columnist Mychael Urban.

"I am so grateful to have an opportunity to pitch again after a year away, and no better place than where it all started," Zito told Urban

"It couldn't be a better situation for me with this organization."

Zito, who was selected by the A's with the ninth overall pick of the 1999 draft out of USC, broke into the majors a year later and won the AL Cy Young Award in 2002, going 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA. He signed as a free-agent with the Giants prior to the 2007 season, but whether it was the weight of a seven-year, $126 million contract or declining skills, Zito never found the magic with San Francisco that he had with the A's. After going 102-63 with a 3.55 ERA in seven seasons and three All-Star appearance with the A's, he went 63-80 with a 4.62 ERA with the Giants, including a 5-11 mark and 5.74 ERA in 2013.

Zito went unsigned last season.

Last week, Zito worked out for a handful of teams.

"I couldn't be happier to lace up the white spikes and throw the green and gold on my back."

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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