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 11:27 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

This is a stupid move......the Cubs will rue this. To judge Zambrano based on the last few years of playing on the incompetently managed Cubs is a mistake.  

Zambrano's frustration with the incompetence around him was one of the only redeeming things about the Cubs of the last few years. In addition, why not wait to see if he is pitching well later in the season so they MIGHT be able to get something for him or not have to pay 80% of his salary?

Im sure they could of made this kind of give away at any time. 


Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 11:04 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

The guy has frontline stuff and is only 30 (prime years for pitchers) even though he has logged a heavy workload.  He's a great #2 or 3 and if Ozzie can keep the reigns on him, this is a good deal for the Marlins.  They get him cheap as the Cubs pick up a significant portion of his salary.

Since: Jun 5, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:58 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

The cubs have gone and traded there best pitcher. I was hoping on the days big z was not pitching he could play at 1st base for the cubs. The sad thing is he could probably could do better than any1 the cubs are going to put out there. So the cubs might have traded there best hitter too. I don't like the cubs paying for some other national league team to get wins, and he will get his wins. 16-9

Since: Jul 30, 2009
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:52 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Coach and starting pitcher can now borrow each others tampons.

Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:48 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 2, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:46 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Ozzie is certifiably nuts....Zambranos a d-bag.

Since: Jan 9, 2009
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:43 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

The Cubs knew that Zambrano would not be back and the worst part is that every organization knew that too so it was hard to unload Carlos Zambrano.  In order to do that, the Cubs needed to eat majority of the contract which they did.  If Ozzie can find that inner peace - he can be an ace in the 3rd or 4th spot.  Also, if the Cubs keep Zambrano - they probably loose him the following year.  So we get a player in return versus losing him for nothing.

As far as Volstad - I like that he is young and in Cubs control until 2014.   Loking at his numbers other than win/loss - they were similar to Big Z (ERA and WHIP).  He can eat up innings if he get out of the 5th.  The win/loss can be affected by run support - I've seen pitchers lose 2-1, 3-2, etc.  

Bottom line, it appears that both pitchers needed a change.  

Lastly, there is no question in my part to the Cubs ownership trying to win.  Last year, attendance was down and bleachers were empty so I know they feel they need a winning product on the field.  As far as a recgnizable strategy, it is obvious for Cubs fans (true fans), the Cubs are:

1. Getting players in house that are team players and perform at 110% (Getting rid of clubhouse cancers - A-Ram and Big Z)
2. Building a farm system that was depleted by Hendry (trading away Marshall (who is a FA after this year) for a starter and a couple young prospects.
3. Keeping some vets that can teach these young players (Dempster, re-signing Kerry Wood - hopefully soon, Reed Johnson)
4. Emphasize of Defense (getting Ian Stewart to play 3rd was a risk for his bat - but defensively wise, he is above average)

The strategy is to try to put a winning team on from year to year and also, have a deep farm system.  I will judge the year-to-year aspect after 2012 because this new team will take time to gel.  The only thing I'm worried about at this point is I am not sure who the clean-up hitter is.  

I'm willing to wait - I've waited all my life, what's another 1-2 years (which I think will take that long - I hope not longer)

Since: Jun 5, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:41 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

That was an accident!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Since: Jun 27, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:41 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Wait till Z-man and HanRam both get into one of their moods. Look out !!!!!!Florida is throwing money around hap-hazardly. Wait till they realize that 2,000 people a nite aint gonna cut it.........

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:15 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Great, this is exactly what the Marlins DO NOT NEED.  The clubhouse has been tranformed into a seething volcano just waiting to erupt and flush the 2012 season down the toilet.  All it is going to take is one Hanley trot, one Z meltdown, and one Ozzie tirade to destroy all the goodwill Miami made with the signings of Reyes, Bell, and Buhrle. 

Good character makes good team chemistry.  This will not be the case in South Florida for the coming season.  What the Marlins have now done is to give a child who lives in a tenderbox, gasoline and matches to play with.

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