11/8 The Royals & Big Z
Theo Epstein wanted to talk to Carlos Zambrano before deciding whether or not the Cubs and the pitcher can co-exist, and the two could chat this week. There may be interest in the right-hander — most likely a lot of interest if the Cubs were willing to pick up a significant chunk of the money he’s owed.
On Monday, Royals GM Dayton Moore, asked by 610 Sports Radio in Kansas City if his team would be interested in a trade for the controversial pitcher, said: “We would have to be interested. We would have to explore it because that’s what you should do.” But on Tuesday, Moore told MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel he should not have commented on a player under contract with another club, and indicated any suggestion the Royals were pursuing Zambrano was misplaced. He clarified his remarks.
“It’s our job as a baseball operations department to listen and explore every potential opportunity that would improve our team,” Moore said. “We spend countless hours doing so and we invite everybody’s opinion as to how it pertains to how we could improve our team. And if one of our people brought up Carlos Zambrano, I would listen and ask questions about why they believe that. That’s all that was and I responded in that spirit.”
Zambrano is owed $18 million next season, and has a $19 million vesting option for 2013. He also has a full no-trade clause. The right-hander, who is scheduled to make his second start Friday in the Venezuela Winter League, most likely would veto a move to an American League team. He wouldn’t get a chance to hit.
– Carrie Muskat