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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: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 10:05 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

The trade is better for both players, as Volstad AND Zambrano are both probably going to be happier, and fit better, with their new teams. Volstad has age on his side, but (I know this won't be popular with Cubs fans), the cash sent to the Marlins makes this an obvious immediate WIN for the Marlins, however.

Zambrano under Ozzie Guillen, in Miami, isn't going to be the same Zambrano that was surrounded by, well, Chicago. How much Zambrano has left in the tank is a bit in question, but he'll make more positive impact to the W/L and fit his (reduced) role in the rotation in Miami, much better than Volstad CAN in Chicago in the near term, and the cash making Zambrano nealry as CHEAP as Volstad makes it a no-brainer for the Marlins. I usually prefer upside to ancient history, but Volstad has consistently under-performed in a more pitcher friendly environment than Wrigley will be, and at least Zambrano HAS ALREADY shown he can be effective...less the anger management issues, of course.  

The Marlins have made tremendous strides with a very solid plan this winter, and are going to suprise a lot of fans...I didn't say teams, because I think it's apparent to teams Miami is already poised to challenge in the NL East next year...what the Marlins truly need most now, is attendence, and the team has finally done enough to prove to fans they're sincere, now it's up to fans.  

The Cubs however, have yet to establish an easily recognizable recovery strategy (some would say this is true for the last century), possibly because there is no evidence that performance has much effect on the Cubs robust attendence anyway...which begs to question Cubs ownership's motivation to win in the first place.     

Since: Jul 28, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:57 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

This says I will have at least five great stories to read about this summer.

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:51 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Well there goes any chance of the Marlins doing anything this year. That guy is a cancer with a captiol "C". Just wait till the first time Ozzy has to pull him in the second inning after he has given up 5 runs on 8 hits. Ozzy better bring a knife with him.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:47 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

This is so great...Big Z vs Ozzie steel cage match!!  My $ is on Ozzie that crazy son of gun manager.  Nice reward going from Chicago where Zambrano is hated for being such a bad attitude to sunny Miami and the mega $ Marlins.  Theo had to rid the roster of him, but it`s going to take a long time to rebuild that terrible roster. It stinks to see a jackass like Zambrano get rewarded & get his way...but guaranteed contracts are unbeatable.

Since: Jul 24, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:24 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

I have to agree, great trade for the CUBS. Being a CUB fan I have always enjoyed watching big Z pitch. Loved his will to win. But, he has been a problem for the team. His temper is like a wild fire that spreads to other players, He has become very dertimental to the team and their play. I think Volstad can post similar numbers as Zambrano except in k's. Overall this will be good for the CUBBIES.

Since: Jun 25, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:15 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

It is very trying being a Cub fan. You invest in guys that your team promotes as part of Cubbiedom and you drink the Blue Kool-Aid and you get Sammy Sosa, who is run out of town and paid by the Cubs to play out his contract somewhere else. You get Aramis Ramirez, whose option is allowed to lapse and who gets totally trashed by the media on the way out of town. You get all the false hope kids like Corey Patterson, and Felix, Pie, and Bobby Hill - guys who just never live up to the hype. And you get Big Z. When he pitched, there were tons of Zambrano jerseys worn in Wrigley Field. Now, the Cubs pay $15M+ of his contract so that he will go away and play somewhere else. Yes, it is very trying being a Cub fan.

Since: Nov 7, 2011
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:12 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

WOW  Great deal for the Cubs. Zambrano is like a cancer and not only is he not a team player ,if you remember some players  did not want him back.

Sure  the Marlins are getting a good pitcher but with  Carlos Zambrano and Hanley Ramirez on the same team  now the Marlins have a team cancer.

Good trade  Theo Good trade


Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:09 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 24, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:06 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

high price to pay for volstad?  basically we have to still pay volstad a half mil and then 15 mil on big z's contract?  he needed to be traded, i get that.  But how could we cut ties with half?  If the cubs trade soriano away and we eat his contract, we might be bankrupt

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: January 5, 2012 9:05 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

The realty is that Zambrano himself goes through big up and downs emotionally and physically.  How he deals with the physical problems through his emotions is what gets him in trouble.  One has to believe he has been wanting out of Chicago now for the last years and his emotional outbursts (aside from physical problems) have largely to do with this.  He is acting out but the Cubs organization has refused to ship him elsewhere until now.  I think this is a winning move for both clubs.  Sometimes you have to get rid of someone (even if talented) just to make the work environment better for current & future players.  With Epstein taking over as a new GM, it also starts the process of developing a team with "his own guys" and sends a message to others that the new guy is in charge and is not going to be intimidated or sized up by anyone else (including a star player).  Anyway, for the Marlins, they get a guy who isn't going to be worse than Volstad production wise.  Going into a new stadium away from Wringley will also help Zambrano.  He is good friends with manager Ozzie Guillen so the emotional stuff should get put under control.

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