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Tag:Carlos Zambrano
Posted on: August 13, 2011 11:34 am
Edited on: August 13, 2011 2:03 pm
 

Cubs GM ready to call Zambrano's retirement bluff

Carlos ZambranoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos Zambrano is again threatening retirement, and apparently the Cubs hope he follows through.

"We will respect his wishes and honor them and move forward," general manager Jim Hendry told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

It's a wonder he could get that out with a straight face and without giggling -- Zambrano leaving under his own accord could allow Hendry to have done what he couldn't do himself, get rid of the albatross in his clubhouse and on his payroll.

The Cubs have been in contact with Zambrano's agent, Barry Praver, according to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. Sullivan reports Zambrano has not yet filed retirement papers, but if the matter isn't resolved by this afternoon, the team will place Zambrano on the restricted list. 

Manager Mike Quade was also unhappy with Zambrano, who cleaned out his locker and talked about retirement after being ejected in the fifth inning of Friday's loss to the Braves for throwing at Chipper Jones.

By the time the media was allowed in the clubhouse, not only was Zambrano and his stuff gone, so too was even the nameplate on his locker.

"He walked out on 24 guys that are battling their ass off for him," Quade told reporters after the game, including Wittenmyer. "I don't know where he's gone or what he's doing. I heard he's talking about retiring. I can't have a guy walking out on 24 guys, that's for damn sure."

Zambrano has one year worth $18 million left on his contract and a no-trade clause.

Last year the Cubs stood by Zambrano (in no small part because of the amount of money left on his contract) after he started a fight in the dugout with Derrek Lee and was sent to anger-management counseling and even welcomed back. This season he'd pitched better, but still grumbled about the team this year, calling it a "Triple-A team," but at least including himself in that rant.

On Friday, though, he may have burned his last bridge. Or, with the thought of giving up more than $20 million left for this season and next, he'll come back and the Cubs will accept him because they have very little choice not to. Either way, it's going to be interesting this afternoon when Cubs players start filing into the clubhouse at Turner Field for the 7:10 p.m. game against the Braves. There will certainly be a few people hoping Zambrano doesn't walk through the door and isn't in the dugout come gametime.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 12, 2011 10:39 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2011 11:36 pm
 

Reports: Zambrano says he's retiring

By Matt Snyder

After an outing in which he allowed five home runs as part of eight earned runs in 4 1/3 inning -- before getting himself ejected seemingly on purpose -- mercurial Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano has cleaned out his locker, left the clubhouse and told some people he's retiring from baseball (per multiple reporters, including Chicago-Sun Times).

This is not the first time Zambrano has mentioned retirement, but in the past it always seemed like a bit of a joke or his response to questions from reporters. This time around, he left the locker room before anyone even noticed. He reportedly told a Cubs' trainer that he was "retired" and just left with all his belongings (Chicago Tribune via Twitter).

Given that Zambrano is prone to emotional overreactions, it's hard to tell if he's serious or not. Of course, all the reporters in the locker room said manager Mike Quade was incredibly angry and that Zambrano's status is "unclear" even if he tries to return to the Cubs. There is a precedent in place, as general manager Jim Hendry suspended disgruntled outfielder Milton Bradley for the last several weeks of the 2009 season before trading him in the offseason.

"We will respect his wishes and honor them and move forward," Hendry told Paul Sullivan of the Tribune, when asked about the retirement.

Zambrano, 30, is a three-time All Star and finished fifth in Cy Young voting three times for the Cubs as well. He's 125-80 with a 3.25 ERA in his 11-year career, which has been spent entirely with the Cubs. He has regressed in the past several years, however, save for a few spurts where it appeared he was back to his old self.

Zambrano does have one year and $19 million left on his contract, which also includes a vesting option for 2013. Should he file retirement papers, he'd forfeit it.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 12, 2011 9:30 pm
Edited on: August 12, 2011 10:49 pm
 

Zambrano ejected for throwing at Jones

By Matt Snyder

After coughing up his fifth home run of the game to the Braves -- coming off the bat of red-hot Dan Uggla -- volatile Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano had a conference with his pitching coach. The Cubs were trailing 8-1 with one out in the fifth. The guess here is Zambrano was told he wasn't coming out of the game just yet because the Cubs were trying to save the bullpen. Zambrano then threw at Chipper Jones and got himself ejected. The Braves hadn't been showboating whatsoever on any of the five home runs, so the best explanation is that Zambrano had had enough and was ready to take his ball and go home.

As if his intent wasn't clear enough, Zambrano immediately and calmly started walking toward the Cubs dugout, even as the Braves' dugout emptied. He didn't want to fight (nor did anyone else, fortunately, as nothing happened once the benches were cleared). He just didn't care to help his team and wanted out of the game. I've always been fair with Zambrano -- in fact, I have defended him before in this space -- but this was blatant disregard for everything but his own, selfish intentions.

Look, we don't know what was said on the mound by Cubs pitching coach Mark Riggins, but it's not very feasible he went out there and told Zambrano to throw at one of the most respected veterans in baseball. Therefore I'd have to conclude that Zambrano was acting only in the interests of himself -- whether he didn't want his ERA to suffer any more damage or if he was just sick of getting pounded around the ballpark, who knows? -- and didn't really care what his coaches, teammates and manager might need from him.

These are the kinds of things that make me want to stop defending Zambrano for good. He's 30 years old. Enough's enough.

READ MORE: Evidently Zambrano agrees enough is enough, because he's telling people he's retiring from baseball.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 12, 2011 4:41 pm
 

On Deck: Spotlight on Turner Field

OD

By Matt Snyder

We've got our usual full slate of Friday night games, with 15 starting in a three hour and five minute window. There is, of course, the possible drama of the Giants heading to Florida to square off against the team that knocked Buster Posey out for the season, but it sounds like nothing will come of that. So we'll grab three other intriguing storylines here. And remember to keep those eyes glued on the CBSSports.com live scoreboard all night with up to the second updates.

Uggla goes for 32, Braves lead Wild Card: The Braves return home Friday with second baseman Dan Uggla bringing in the longest major-league hitting streak since Chase Utley's 35-gamer in 2006. We've already covered the matchups for this series in terms of Uggla's history against the Cubs' pitchers, so let's instead focus on the game itself here. The Braves have a five-game lead in the NL Wild Card race and host the team with the second-worst record in the National League. Still, it may not be as easy as it sounds. The Cubs come in having won nine of their past 11 and are playing solid baseball for the first time in 2011. Carlos Zambrano (9-6, 4.46) of the Cubs faces off against Mike Minor (1-2, 4.85). Cubs at Braves, 7:35 p.m. ET.

Oakland's Public Enemy: Rangers starter C.J. Wilson (10-5, 3.35) had some strong words for the Oakland A's, the stadium, their fans, etc. earlier this week. He basically said everything sucks, so that couldn't have endeared him much to the A's or the Oakland fans. Wilson's former teammate Brandon McCarthy (5-5, 3.31), now of the A's, responded by saying the A's need to beat Wilson and the fans need to show up and send Wilson a message. And wouldn't you know it, the two pichers just happen to be squaring off Friday night. There doesn't seem to be any bad blood, so much as Wilson just speaking his mind and McCarthy trying to stand up for his ballclub and fans. Still, it's too bad the ptichers don't bat. It would be cool to see them go head-to-head. Rangers at A's, 10:05 p.m. ET.

Wells returns to Toronto: Vernon Wells played almost 1,400 games in 12 seasons for the Blue Jays. He was a fixture in center field for over a decade, making three All-Star Games and hauling in three Gold Gloves. This season, however, he's playing for the Angels and Friday night he'll take the field at the Rogers Centre wearing enermy garb for the first time. Wells hasn't fared well at all for the Angels, as his .208/.241/.373 line is the worst of his career. He is, however, in a pennant race of the Angels are just two games behind the Rangers in the AL West. Wells' Angels will send red-hot Ervin Santana (8-8, 3.21) to the hill as the Blue Jays counter with Brandon Morrow (8-6, 4.51). Santana is 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA -- and a no-hitter -- in his past eight starts. No word yet on the Man in White's availability, but the Jays may need him. Angels at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. ET.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 4:26 pm
 

Cubs dangling Zambrano, no takers yet

By Matt Snyder

As CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler pointed out a few minutes ago, the starting pitching market for the trade deadline this season is pretty weak. Thus, the Cubs have been trying to offload mercurial starter Carlos Zambrano. Several reports Thursday indicated the Cubs are trying to convince the Yankees to deal for Zambrano -- with the Cubs even trying to grease the wheels by paying a portion of Zambrano's remaining salary (nearly $24 million through 2012). So far, no dice for the Cubs, as the Yankees are said to have "no interest." (Chicago Sun Times)

Zambrano, 30, has insisted for several years he wants to remain with the Cubs and he reiterated those feelings after his loss Wednesday night.

“I do want to stay here, but at the same point, I want this team to make some changes," he said (Sun Times). If we want to win here, we need to make some changes. If I have to go, I have to go, but I [will] still have the Cubs in my heart.’’

Zambrano is 7-6 with a 4.59 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He's a three-time All-Star and has a career 3.57 ERA. Part of the reason the Cubs contacted the Yankees about Zambrano is that it would reunite him with former pitching coach Larry Rothschild. Of course, the Yankees are also rumored to have interest in starting pitching. A deal between the two teams would make sense, but apparently Zambrano's performance this season isn't enough to convince Brian Cashman and company.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:56 pm
 

Wednesday afternoon trade rumors

By C. Trent Rosecrans

We actually got the big trades on Wednesday with a three-way deal sending Colby Rasmus to Toronto and Edwin Jackson to St. Louis, as well as the biggest domino of the non-waiver trade deadline falling, as Carlos Beltran will join the Giants on Thursday. But that doesn't mean the rumors stopped, boy oh boy, are they still hot and heavy. Here's our roundup of the morning and early afternoon's rumors:

• One official for a contender told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that he believes the Rockies will move Ubaldo Jimenez. Apparently there's too much smoke for there not to be fire. The same official told Stark, "You don't do this with your best pitchers unless you're ready to trade him." 

• Even with the Cardinals rebuilding their bullpen in Wednesday's Rasmus deal, they're still talking to the Padres about Heath Bell and Mike Adams, CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller tweets.

• The Cubs are apparently interested in dumping two of their higher-priced players, Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweeted the Cubs are offering up much of the money left on their contracts. A rival front-office member told Heyman, "They'd have to pay 95 percent." Zambrano is making $17.875 million this season and $18 million next season. He has a $19.25 million vesting option for 2013 that takes effect if he is first or second in the 2011 Cy Young vote (not likely) or is in the top four of the 2012 Cy Young vote and is healthy. He has a full no-trade clause. Soriano is signed through 2014 at $18 million per season. The Cubs are hoping the Yankees bite, Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweets.

• A's general manager Billy Beane tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he's not interested in giving away any of the available A's players on the cheap. He said the team isn't looking to dump payroll.

• After Beltran turned down the Indians (or his agent did), Cleveland has moved on and is trying to land Rasmus, B.J. Upton and Hiroki Kuroda, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! tweets. Of course, that was before Rasmus was off the table.

• The Astros say they want a "very top" pitching prospect in return for Hunter Pence, Heyman tweets. He notes with that price tag, most expect Hunter to stay in Houston.

• FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets the Braves are now the most interested in Pence, but are also interested in the Padres' Ryan Ludwick.

• The Phillies have done background work on White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin, Olney tweets. Philadelphia is searching for a bat that would basically replace what Jason Werth did for them last season.

• Rockies outfielder Ryan Spllborghs is a possibility for the Red Sox, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe writes. He also adds the Twins are listening to offers for right-hander Kevin Slowey.

• The Yankees have asked about Florida's Ricky Nolasco, but was told the team would deal him, Heyman tweeted.

• The chances of the Dodgers trading Andre Ethier are "very slim" FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi reports. But there's a chance as Ethier will be a free agent after 2012.

• The Reds are telling teams catcher Devin Mesoraco and shortstop Billy Hamilton are "untouchable," Rosenthal writes. However, he also notes the Rockies wouldn't require either of those two. If a deal didn't include those, it would take some other big pieces, though. The Reds' system is deep enough to have those pieces, such as Yasmandi Grandal, Yonder Alonso, Travis Wood and Mike Leake.

• Even though the Rays have said James Shields is unavailable, Rosenthal tweets Cincinnati is targeting Sheilds over Ubaldo Jimenez.

• With Rasmus off the table, the Nationals are targeting the Twins' Denard Span and could move closer Drew Storen to get the outfielder, Rosenthal said on MLB Network.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 18, 2011 5:45 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 8:20 pm
 

Ramirez could move after July 31

Aramis RamirezBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez isn't going anywhere… for now.

Ramirez has a full no-trade protection as a player with 10/5 rights, 10 years of service and five with the same team. Ramirez, 33, could be a target for many teams, including the Angels, Tigers and Pirates, but his agent, Paul Kinzer, tells FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal that Ramirez wouldn't approve a trade before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

That last part is the key, though -- Ramirez may approve a trade in August if he clears waivers or the Cubs can make a deal with a claiming team. Last year Chicago moved Derek Lee in August. The issue for Ramirez is his family. His wife and children will return to the Dominican Republic for the start of school in August, and at that point he might be more open to moving.

"When his family goes back, and his kids go back to school, that could possibly loosen it up," Kinzer told Rosenthal. "As of now, he has no interest. He loves Chicago. He always wanted to finish his career there."

Later, Ramirez confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that his family is the reason he isn't interested in a trade.

"It is for family considerations," Ramirez said. "If I were to be single, by myself, yeah, I'd move anywhere and be in a hotel the last two months. But it's too tough with my family. I've earned the right to be in this position."

Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune writes that teams think this is a bluff and Ramirez would accept a trade. He also said the Tigers could send Brandon Inge and prospects to Chicago in return for Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano

The Cubs have a $16 million option on Ramirez for 2012 that becomes automatic, plus another $1 million if he's traded. Kinzer, though, said Ramirez would prefer to have that option dropped if he's traded, making him a free agent after the season. He'd be the second player to decline a guaranteed option for big bucks in 2012 in a trade, as Francisco Rodriguez made a similar move to become a free agent after the season following his trade to Milwaukee.

"Most teams wouldn't have a problem with that," Kinzer said. "They would be renting a player for the rest of the season. That's all stuff we'd have to look at."

If he stays with the Cubs through the end of the season, it's unlikely Chicago would pick up his option.

Ramirez is hitting .300/346/.504 with 16 home runs and 56 RBI this season, and since June 1 he's been on fire, hitting .313/.345/.631 with 14 home runs and 37 RBI. He would help any team that needs a little pop in the lineup, that's for sure. It would be interesting if he were to return to Pittsburgh, where he started his career. The Pirates need a third baseman and they need a power jolt to the lineup. Pittsburgh has come out and said it would look to upgrade its lineup heading into August.

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



Posted on: July 4, 2011 1:03 pm
Edited on: July 4, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Cubs unsure when Dempster will return

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Ryan DempsterCubs starter Ryan Dempster was scratched from his team's Monday game against the Nationals with "intestinal issues" and manager Mike Quade seemed just as unsure about what was wrong with Dempster as when the right-hander would be able to make another start.

"It just seems like it's a product of his intestinal issues over the last couple of days," Quade told reporters, including Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "I'm not smart enough to know that, but it's his whole [core] region."

Dempster was hospitalized on Saturday night, but released on Sunday. Dempster said he'd like to start again before the All-Star break, but Quade noted he'd like to see him throw off a mound before another start.

Casey Coleman started Monday's game for Dempster. 

With Dempster missing Monday's start, all five of the starters in the Cubs' rotation at the beginning of the season have missed at least one start. Carlos Zamrbano (back) and Andrew Cashner (shoulder) are currently on the disabled list. Ramon Ortiz will start in Zambrano's place Tuesday against the Nationals.

The 34-year-old Dempster is 5-6 with a 4.99 ERA in 18 starts.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com