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Call it a comeback: Barry Zito to throw for teams in January

In 2002 -- as a member of the Athletics club now immortalized by Chris Pratt and Co. in Moneyball -- Barry Zito went 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA over 35 starts on his way to a Cy Young Award. He was 24.

Fantastic

Twelve years later he was out of baseball.

Options

Zito seems to hope not.

After signing a monster free agent contract to pitch for the Giants, Zito never truly returned to form. A fairly succesful 2012 campaign -- including a 2-0, 1.69 ERA showing in the postseason -- gave way to a 2013 in which Zito made 30 apperances (25 starts) and allowed opponents to hit .318. 

The Giants declined to pick up Zito's 2014 option, prompting the pitcher to spend a year away from professional baseball. Now it seems that Zito isn't interested in early retirement, instead announcing his plans for a comeback. He'll audition for interested teams in January.

His long-time agent, Scott Boras, said the pitcher will throw for teams in January with the hope of pitching in the 2015 season.

"He's been working hard on his mechanics," Boras said. "He doesn't cup the ball anymore. His drive to home plate is a little bit different than it was. He has some new mechanical evolutions he's been working on to really advance what he thinks will be effective."

Now, if you'll excuse us, we've got to go get our "TEAM COMEBACK" shirts printed up.

Romantic