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.
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.
Moscoso to start 2013 finale in place of Cain
SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Cain received an early start to his offseason, as Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Friday that the right-hander would be replaced by Guillermo Moscoso as the starter for Sunday's season finale against San Diego.
Bochy emphasized that nothing was physically wrong with Cain, who finished 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 30 starts.
"As much as he pitched the last few years, it's time to give him a break," Bochy said of Cain, San Francisco's Opening Day starter.
Cain is among three Giants pitchers since the franchise moved west in 1958 to have reached or exceeded the 200-inning level for six consecutive seasons. Hall of Famers Juan Marichal (10 years, 1962-71) and Gaylord Perry (six years, 1966-71) are the others. Cain totaled 184 1/3 innings this year.
Bochy also said left-hander Jeremy Affeldt, already sidelined for the season with a groin injury, had surgery Friday to treat a sports hernia. Bochy said Affeldt would require six to eight weeks of recovery.
• Gregor Blanco singled in two of his first three at-bats Friday against San Diego but did not stay on the bases long. He was thrown out trying to stretch his first-inning hit into a double, then was picked off first base by San Diego starter Burch Smith to end the fourth inning.
• Asked about the possibility of right-hander Yusmeiro Petit securing a spot in the Giants' 2014 starting rotation, Sabean said cryptically, "I think he has a chance to be on the staff next year." The Giants have won all six games started by Petit, who opposes San Diego on Saturday.
• First baseman Brett Pill is batting .296 (16-for-54) in 15 starts, contrasting with his .087 average as a pinch-hitter (2-for-23) entering Friday.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.