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: Jan 10, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:43 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

how dumb are the marlins? the sign hot-head ozzie to be head coach. then they sign shortstop jose reyes when they already have a superstar shortstop in ramirez (another hot-head). then they sign captain melt-down zambrano? YIKES! talk about some team chemistry! i predict ramirez will demand outa florida sometime soon and all out brawls between teamates in the marlins dug-out. as far winning any ballgames? i dont think so. so sad to see a brand new stadium go to waste. people in florida dont go to baseball/football games anymore. ask the tampa bay rays. people are too busy getting bilked by the miami heat to have any money left-over for baseball. besides, the marlins will piece this team out in 2 years like they always do.

Since: Oct 7, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 1:09 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

What an incredible year so far, and it started last year with getting rid of Hendry. Then A-Ram, Wood and Pena going to free agency, and saying good bye to big baby. Who cares who he gets along with and texts we are paying to get rid of him because he needs to go. Good luck Miami that should be a hint of his issues so don't get to excited down there, and good luck. And you know I gotta throw a shout out about Angelo and Martz good bye! Maybe Epstein can help with our Bears LOL! I don't want to hear that Big Z is a great pittcher or bat. He was,but now he's gone because he's not. What ever stats you want to throw out there does not matter he had his chances and failed. He didn't care anymore!

Since: Jun 4, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:52 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

The Big Zambrano definitely has talent, it is that high voltage temper that gets the best of him. This will be good for both reams as Carlos was done in Chicago. I bet he will flourish down in Florida and could be a sleeper in next years fantasy drafts. Maybe this kid Volstad will turn things around in a Cubbie uniform.

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:37 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

More good news in Chicago to start 2012.   Maybe Ozzie will get a good year out of him, I don't care.   He needed to go, but based on the organization's history, I was expecting to see him in a Cub uniform in April.     Big exhale, it's finally over.

Since: Feb 17, 2008
Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:25 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

The biggest loss for the Cubs is his bat.  Z has been one of the best hitters on the team for the last several years. 

I guess I'm still a tad bit bitter about how Lou handled the rotation in the 2008 NLDS sweep.

Z is also the strongest contender to take on A.J. Pierzynski when the teams brawl during the interleague/intercity series.

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: January 5, 2012 12:09 am

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

As a resident of South Florida, I can honestly say my amigos are 'muy excitado' about all this.  MLB is more diverse than the NFL or the NBA.  What Ozzie is doing will be very good for business here.  Latin players have been and will continue to be a major force in MLB. Que bueno! ;)

Since: May 1, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:50 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

bcrow - I stand corrected.  Thanks for the refresher course.  Even though "washed up" is "unfair".

I did not like any of the trades, but management was cheap.  The (infamous) refers to Leon's Bill Buckner moment vs. Padres?  Which also screwed Smitty?  Painful memory.  Didn't the Cubbies lose home field because no lights? 

Hopefully the Cubs will not go back to the passive lovable losers the rest of the league depends upon. It was OK to see someone get pissed about losing - at least for a little while. I don't buy this lame "good little boy" while losing crap.  The Oakland A's fought like Belfast Orange vs. Green and won 3 in a row in the 70's. Charley Finley named his donkey "Bowie" because Commish Kuhn stopping him from selling Odom, Blue and Hunter outright for enough money to sign 9 good prospects.

Should be colorful in Miami.  Maybe Oz and Z can tag team an umpire, fan or reporter. 

"Will we still sing the blues in Chicago?"

Since: Aug 8, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:48 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Why would he have cramping in an air conditioned stadium?

Since: Aug 8, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:47 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Why would he have cramping in an air conditioned stadium?

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2012 11:47 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

I'm a little disappointed to see Volstad go since he's a South Florida kid (Palm Beach Gardens) but he's never lived up to the hype, maybe a change of scenery will do him some good.  As for Big Z, this could get real interesting.  Between Big Z, Hanley, Reyes and Manager Guillen, the Marlins clearly have a roster of, um, mercurial players.  And that's putting it nicely.  If it works out then great, but the potential full-blown Chernobyl nuclear meltdown might be must-see TV . . .

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