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ORLANDO – It’s not uncommon for an unsigned ballplayer or two to stroll the lobby at the Winter Meetings, hoping to find a spring training locker.
But don’t expect to bump into Barry Zito in front of the towering Christmas Tree at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort.
Right now, the only opportunity that interests Zito is a bit of swell off the Maui coastline, and a chance to ascend his surfboard.
Zito, who received a $7 million buyout from the Giants, is not actively looking for a major league job at this time, as I understand it. While GMs are busy looking for deals, he's relaxing in Hawaii. But I'm told that Zito most certainly is not retiring, either. Even if he takes a year to reboot, which is no sure thing, he wants to pitch again in 2015.
Zito has told me many times that he'd love to emulate left-hander Jamie Moyer, who kept on tossing past his 49th birthday. Zito, 35, is a relative pup compared to Moyer.
And while he didn’t appear to have much left while going 5-11 with a 5.74 ERA in 30 games (25 starts), he’s not too far removed from his heroic outings in Game 5 of the NLCS in St. Louis and his victory over the Tigers in Game 1 of the World Series in 2012.
That was the ultimate wave of emotion. And now that he's no longer under contract, he’s taking some time to enjoy the literal waves. Salt spray and all.