Giants to give Zito $7 million buyout

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants have formally parted ways with left-hander Barry Zito, declining to exercise his $18 million contract option for next season and instead owing him a $7 million buyout.

Also Saturday, San Francisco declined its $3 million mutual option for outfielder Andres Torres and must pay him a $500,000 buyout.

Zito, 35, has known this moment was coming, and recently took out a full-page newspaper ad to thank the fans for standing by him through a tough seven seasons. The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner across the bay for the Oakland Athletics, Zito just completed a $126 million, seven-year contract with San Francisco.

Zito had a 63-80 record with a 4.62 ERA in 197 starts and 208 appearances for the Giants.

He and Torres become free agents.

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