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: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:39 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Oh, man...  This is great.  As a Sox fan who hated Ozzie Guillen, this works out perfectly. 

I don't have to look at either one of their stupid faces or listen to their unintelligible loudmouth ramblings around here AND get to watch the inevitable implosion from afar. 

These two idiots truly deserve each other. 

Since: Jan 4, 2012
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:37 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Here is to another chapter in the Cubs of our Lives. I'm soooo looking forward to lets say 2014/2015 and we will see how this works out. I thing Ozzie should go out ant pick up Milton Bradley to to add to the drama misfits he has now. he should change his name to Buttermaker from Bad News bears. 

Since: Jul 27, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:31 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Zambrano is WAY too unpredictable for any of us to really know what'll come of him next season, but I suspect Miami will put together a good year and Z will do the "transformed" thing for a season--maybe.  After that?  And with Reyes' injury history, could Miami expect a full season's worth of healthy play from him anywhere near the level of 2011?  The fish could be the talk of baseball for lots of reasons, but it's hard to believe in them beyond the short term--and even that requires a good bit of faith.  Cubs fans, I hope Vostad has his own transformation for your sake.  Would've been nice--but unrealistic--to see you get more.

Since: Jun 9, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:27 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano


Since: Aug 20, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:21 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

This had to happen for the Cubs.  It is obvious, despite the Cubs making him a very rich man, Zambrano had an ax to grind.  So they get rid of a baby who also happens to be a cancer, bite the bullet for one year of salary and move forward with their team.  Volstad is a stiff, but he should give them 180 IPs while they figure out what they are going to do for the future.  Guillen, on the other hand, needs his head examined for bringing this fat stiff into his clubhouse.  Like one malcontent isnt enough.  Florida is putting together a competitive team and the last thing they need is another distraction who will also be a bad influence in the clubhouse.  As a Phillies fan I was getting worried about this Marlins, but moves like this are putting me at ease and the best part is they are stuck with him for a few more years.

Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:21 pm


Thank god this cancer has been removed from the Cubs. I'd like to wish zambrano well, but he did nothing but spit in the face of the city who embraced him over and over again.  

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:21 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Greg Maddux won 20 games in 1992 and was 26 years old and due his first big free agent contract.  Not in the twilight of his career.
Lee Smith was 29 and was an All Star the year he was traded for two scrubs.  I still don't get that one.
Sutter (at age 27) was coming off a year he won arbitration and would have been a free agent and the Cubs didn't expect that he'd resign so they traded him.  Note they got Leon Durham in that deal who was famous (and infamous) for helping get the team to within a game of the 1984 World Series.
Eck reinvented himself as a closer when he went to Oakland at age 32 and was able to extend his career.
Holtzmann was 25 when he was traded, again far from a downside.
Moyer was traded at the age of 25 in a deal that brought Mitch Williams to Chicago and helped the 89 Cubs win the division.   Moyer went on to become a freak of nature in the AL pitching until he was 46.

The player on your list who was closest to "washed up" was Eck, and had he stayed a starter he may have been.

Zambrano...hope Ozzie can keep him out of the Miami nightlife...for their sake...

Since: Oct 20, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:13 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Wow, only 3 million.  In this market where a Mark Buehrle is worth $60 for 4 years I gotta think Z for one year is worth at least 5-6 mill, he' still got some decent stuff left and was a viable starter the last two years capable of putting together dominant streches.

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:09 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Boy, that's going to be a three-ring circus down there. Ramirez, Reyes, and Zambrano on one team? Is that new stadium going to be big enough for all three of those guys? At any rate, Hanley had better not loaf after any pop fouls with Z. on the mound; he'll tear him apart.

Since: Apr 18, 2008
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:09 pm

Marlins agree to trade for Carlos Zambrano

Best shape of his career? Give me a break. At least 4 or 5 different times I have heard those words said about Zambrano and yet the results didn't change. He mental shape is what needs to be fixed along with his arm. I believe his fastball averaged under 90 this year. If anyone believe his ERA will be below 4 this year, you are insane.

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