Zito among 50 highest-earning American athletes

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Zito among 50 highest-earning American athletes

By now the Giants and most fans have given up on Barry Zitoever fully living up to the lofty expectations that came with his 126-millioncontract. If Zito can be a serviceable starter and stick closer to his 3.72 ERAof 2012 than his 5.87 ERA of 2011, that will probably have to be enough.But that doesnt mean the price tag doesnt still hurt.Zito came in at a tie for 36th in Sports Illustrateds 2012list of the highest-earning American athletes. Zito is hauling in 20 millionthis year, 19 million from his contract with the Giants and another 1 millionin endorsements.Zitos income puts him even with fellow major leaguers CarlCrawford and Albert Pujols. As frustrating as Zitos high salary has been toGiants fans over the past six years, the Red Soxs expenditures on Crawfordhave equally wasted this season. Wrist surgery has limited the outfielder tojust two games so far this year.Pujols, a three-time MVP and nine-time All-Star, willcertainly pass Zito in future earnings lists as his salary with the Angelsgrows over the 10-year deal. The Angels owe Pujols 12 million this year, butthat number increases to 16 million by next year, 23 million by 2014 and 30million by the final year of the deal.Zitos contract has similarly become increasingly expensivefor the Giants, growing from 10 million in 2007 to 20 million dollars nextyear, the final guaranteed year on the deal.Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. topped all American athletes withan income of 85 million. Two high-profile pay-per-view fights against VictorOrtiz and Miguel Cotto brought in 40 million and 45 million, respectively,for Mayweather.Mayweather dethroned Tiger Woods as ruler of the financialkingdom. Woods had led SIs list for every year since the magazine beganpublishing it in 2004.

Former top prospect Andy Marte dies from car accident in Dominican Republic

Former top prospect Andy Marte dies from car accident in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte died early Sunday from a traffic accident in his native Dominican Republic.

Metropolitan traffic authorities say Marte died when the Mercedes Benz he was driving hit a house along a road between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.

Marte, a 33-year-old infielder, played for several Major League teams, including Atlanta, Cleveland and Arizona, and was most recently playing in the Korean league.

Marte was playing in the Dominican winter league with the Aguilas Cibaenas team.

"We have awoken this Sunday with this sad news that we have lost a special being," club president Winston Llenas said in a statement about Marte.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the final month of his time with the Giants, it became clear that Santiago Casilla and the team would part ways. On Friday, Casilla confirmed that he never had the opportunity to return. 

On a conference call to announce a two-year deal with the Oakland A’s, Casilla said he “would have been happy to return to the Giants, but I never got an offer from them. I understood.”

Casilla said he had several opportunities to go elsewhere and close, mentioning the Milwaukee Brewers as one interested team. Casilla signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the A’s, who likely won’t need him to pitch in the ninth. The Brewers went on to bring in Neftali Feliz for one year and $5.35 million; he is expected to close. 

“I preferred to return to the Athletics because that’s where my career started,” Casilla said through interpreter Manolo Hernández Douen. “And I’m very excited.”

Casilla spent the first six years of his career with the A’s before crossing the bridge and becoming a key figure in three title runs. In seven seasons in San Francisco, he posted a 2.42 ERA and saved 123 games. Casilla had a 0.92 ERA in the postseason, but he was stripped of a prominent role in the weeks leading up to the 2016 playoffs. 

Casilla, 36, blew nine saves before being pulled from the ninth inning. He appeared just three times in the final 14 regular season games and just once in the playoffs. He did not take the mound in Game 4 of the NLDS, watching as five other relievers teamed up to give back a three-run lead. 

That moment stung Casilla, and it affected Bruce Bochy, too. The Giants struck quickly in December to bring Mark Melancon in as their new closer, but at the Winter Meetings, Bochy said he would welcome Casilla back in a setup role. 

“He’s a great team player (and) teammate,” Bochy said. “(I) certainly wouldn’t rule it out because he still has great stuff. And he had some hiccups there in that closing role, but I would take him anytime.”

As it turned out, that opportunity was never there for Casilla. The Giants didn’t make another move after the big deal with Melancon, and they’ll rely on younger arms to record most of the outs in the seventh and eighth. Casilla said he’s not bitter about the way it all ended. 

“I have left that in the past,” he said. “It’s a new year, it’s a new year. I have left this in the past.”