11/14 Big Z has to “earn his way back”
Theo Epstein is going to give Carlos Zambrano a chance to earn his way back to the Cubs. Epstein and Zambrano had lunch Monday near Wrigley Field. Zambrano had requested the meeting, said his agent, Barry Praver, who also attended the lunch.
“It went well,” Epstein said. “[Zambrano] expressed a strong desire to be a Cub and an even stronger desire to have a really good 2012 season.
“I told him we’d give him the right to earn his way back to being a Cub,” Epstein said. “Nothing would be given to him but he could earn his way back from very hard work this winter, through rebuilding relationships man to man with all of his teammates, and through some other steps that we discussed.
“We’re not welcoming him back unconditionally at all but we’re going to give him the right to earn his way back to being a Cub.”
Neither Epstein nor Praver would go into detail as to what those steps will be for Zambrano to return.
“There are steps,” Epstein said. “Most of the details will stay confidential. There are steps he needs to take and he seems motivated to do so, and if he earns his way back under certain conditions, we’ll see him in Spring Training and welcome him back.”
Was Zambrano contrite during their meeting?
“Yeah, very much so,” Epstein said. “But from what I understand, he’s been that way before.”
— Carrie Muskat