Blog Entry

Epstein: Zambrano can earn his way back to Cubs

Posted on: November 15, 2011 12:19 am
Carlos ZambranoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos Zambrano's Cubs career may not be over quite yet -- new president Theo Epstein told reporters he met with Zambrano and didn't close the door on a return to Wrigley Field for the volatile right-hander.

"We told him we would give him the right to earn his way back to being a Cub, that nothing would be given to him," Epstein told reporters (via the Chicago Tribune) on Monday after meeting with Zambrano, agent Barry Praver and Cubs farm director Oneri Fleita.

"He could earn his way back through very hard work this winter, through rebuilding relationship man-to-man with all his teammates and through other steps we discussed," Epstein said. 

Zambrano was suspended by the team after he left during a game in Atlanta on Aug. 12 following an ejection for throwing at Chipper Jones. Epstein described Zambrano as "contrite" in their meeting.

"He expressed a strong desire to be a Cub and an even stronger desire to have a real good 2012 season," Epstein said (via the Chicago Sun-Times). "He's in great shape, working real hard."

Zambrano also encountered controversy in 2010 when he started a fight in the dugout during a game. The 30-year-old is in the final year of a five-year, $91.5 million contract. He went 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA last season and is 125-81 with a 3.60 ERA in his 11 seasons with the Cubs. He is currently playing winter ball in his native Venezuela.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Since: Nov 15, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 5:33 am

Epstein: Zambrano can earn his way back to Cubs

The Cubs need pitching and Z is still as good as what is available
- It could be a good season for him and make Epstein look like great. The Cubs have to improve the defense to make the pitching better. Zambrano will be a project for the Mike and Greg M.

Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: November 15, 2011 5:07 am

Epstein: Zambrano can earn his way back to Cubs

Like most Cub fans, I'm pretty sick of Z and believe he should be done in Chicago.  But I understand not wanting to eat that last year of his salary by giving him away.... I guess if Theo gives him a chance and keeps him on a short leash then he'll look like a genius if Zambrana has a good year... maybe try to get something for him in August if we can

Since: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: November 15, 2011 3:18 am

Epstein: Zambrano can earn his way back to Cubs

theo, this is your 1st of many mistakes.....when the going gets tough, zambrano has proven he is the 1st 1 to jump ship. have fun trying to win w/ this cool, calm, collected, role model, leader, club house chemistry type of guy! its blantantly obvious that the cubs should focus on ramirez and forget zambrano. shocking this team has never won.....

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or