Blog Entry

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Posted on: January 4, 2012 6:09 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2012 8:49 pm

By Matt Snyder

The Cubs have agreed to trade volatile and highly-paid starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins, with an announcement coming as soon as Thursday, insider Jon Heyman has learned. The preliminary deal is that the Cubs would pick up the overwhelming majority of the $18 million Zambrano is owed for 2012 and that starting pitcher Chris Volstad is headed to the Cubs. Multiple reports indicate the Cubs will pay $15 million to the Marlins.

New Cubs president Theo Epstein has been publicly saying he'd give Zambrano one last chance in Chicago throughout the entire offseason. In fact, earlier Wednesday on a Chicago radio show, Epstein said that he was "skeptical" but would give Zambrano a chance to prove he's changed. It's not too surprising that he would be putting off that vibe publicly while privately trying to rid his club of a past cancer, though.

For stretches, when Zambrano could remain healthy and well-behaved, he produced as a frontline starting pitcher. He's a three-time All-Star who finished exactly fifth three times in NL Cy Young voting. After anger management sessions midseason in 2010, he closed the season in lights-out fashion, going 8-0 with a 1.24 ERA. But then Zambrano walked out on his team last August after getting ejected from a game in Atlanta. Then-general manager Jim Hendry basically kicked Zambrano off the team, sending him away and placing him on the restricted list.

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Considering this and the fact that Zambrano is owed such a lofty salary next season, it's easy to see why Epstein wasn't so quick to cut ties with Zambrano for nothing. But it's possible Zambrano's long-time friendship with new Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen made the deal easier to consummate.

Guillen was specifically asked about Zambrano during the Winter Meetings and said the two exchange text messages everyday.

"Every time I talk to Zambrano," Guillen said, "all of a sudden people think I'm talking about contracts or moving him to the Marlins. That's tampering."

He then joked: "We do that on the side, not around people."

So while Guillen hasn't publicly courted Zambrano, it's obvious the two are great friends and would love to work with each other. Thus, the no-trade clause shouldn't be much of an issue.

The Marlins already have a top two in the rotation in Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle. With Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco around, they could feasibly slot Zambrano as the fifth starter in an attempt to alleviate any pressure he'd put on himself.

Volstad, 25, was 5-13 with a 4.89 ERA and 1.43 WHIP last season. He was once a fairly-highly touted prospect but hasn't made a great transition to the majors, aside from a solid rookie campaign (6-4, 2.88 ERA, 1.33 WHIP in 2008).

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Since: Mar 15, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2012 5:37 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Big Z was their best pitcher?  Ouch.  What does that say about Garza and Dempster

you're half right. Garza was,and is, their best pitcher. Dempster sucks

Since: Feb 15, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 4:08 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

This is a good move for the Cubs. Zambrano has been a cancer for that club for years. I think he will be a changed guy once he arrives in Miami. He will have fellow countrymen along side him, he will be playing in an all hispanic area and Ozzie Gullen is a good friend.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2012 3:25 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

the cubs should be reported to the FTC...the Fair Trade Commission....for this transaction. why? what was fair about it? the cubbies gave

up a proven starter (albeit a pain in the buttocks) and be paying the lion's share of his inflated MLB salary...and for what? CHRIS VOLSTAD???

let's call this what it really is; namely, a "let's dump our problem on you" transaction. i look forward to the first time ozzie and carlos get into

it.  two hot-tempered latinos going mano e mano. i wonder what kind of odds vegas is laying on this match? stay tuned, sports's 

coming to a tv near you....real soon!      

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 2:49 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Big has had the best career of the three, but that does not mean he is the best pitcher right now.  He has had a lot of trouble staying on the field and has been sriously inconsistant over the last two years.  You could compare the career numbers of Soriano and Castro and conclude that Soriano is a better hitter, but in the context of 2012, you would be dead wrong.

Since: Jun 5, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 2:10 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Big Z was their best pitcher?  Ouch.  What does that say about Garza and Dempster?

Garza is 52-54 in his career, still young. Dempster is 112-116 ERA 4.41 in his career, worst contract the cubs have 16 mil for dempster? Big z 125-81 with a ERA 3.60 in his career. watch them all, big z is the best out of the group.

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2012 2:02 pm

Marlins get the short end of the stick

The Cubs get the deal they where looking for.  Win win how you ask?  When you can get a cancer out of the club house that is always a plus.  Yea they eat 15 or million but other players don't have to be around him day in and d\ay out.  The overall investment into the roster is way over 15 million.  That's why it's called cutting your losses.  The rebuilding will continue will the Cubs win more than 75 games this season?  Nope!

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:51 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

And how volatile a mix is this going to be with Ozzie big-mouthing to the press after a couple of Z-meltdownss?

I actually thought this relationship would be better than anywhere else. Both are Spanish speaking and with Ozzie's own crazy temper, he might be able to settle Z down a little. I'll say this, I'm just happy he'll no longer be a Cub. I'll hate them a little less without Zambrano in their uniform.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:40 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Cubs HAD to get rid of him.  They dumped him on the cheap for a once highly touted prospect that the shine has worn off of.  For both teams, the player they are getting is a rehab project.  But Z gets a fresh start in Miami, which would have never happened in Chicago, and the Cubs get a 25 year old kid for what is very obviously a youth movement.  Seems like a win win.  If the Marlins can't handle Z they can dump him, since the Cubs are picking up most of his salary anyway.  They are risking little.  The Cubs are paying a lot to get rid of Z, but that bill was already past due.  So Theo trade to make the best of a bad situation.  It is not like the Soriano deal, where he is way overpaid, but brings some value and seems like a decent lockeroom guy.  The only way Soriano hurts you is in the checkbook.  Zambrano was a clubhouse cancer.  I honestly hope he gets over his issues, but I don't think that would have ever happened in Chicago.  Win-win in my book.

Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:28 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Two things are certain.  Zambrano can hit for a pitcher, and Morrison won't be short on things to Twitter about.  It'll be interesting!

Since: Apr 21, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:12 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

To me, at the very least, this is addition by subtraction for the Cubs;  for the Marlins, a roll of the dice.  IMO, sooner or later, they will come to regret this chapter of their revolving door run this off-season.  Can anyone really see Big-Z being productive for a FULL season anymore?  And how volatile a mix is this going to be with Ozzie big-mouthing to the press after a couple of Z-meltdowns?

'Could be wrong; time will tell.  Ought to be entertaining either way.

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