1/4 Big Z headed to Marlins

He threw a no-hitter in 2008, yet threw more than his share of tantrums. He was a Cy Young waiting to happen, but could aso be a distraction. Carlos Zambrano was a volatile, emotional pitcher, and now appears headed to Miami. The Cubs and Marlins have reportedly agreed to a deal which would send Zambrano to Miami in exchange for Chris Volstad. The Cubs would pick up $15-16 million of the $18 million owed Zambrano next season. Volstad is a first-year arbitration eligible player.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal first reported the deal, and said it is done pending approval by the commissioner’s office. The two teams also need to exchange medical records. Neither Cubs nor Marlins officials would comment on the reports.

If the Cubs do move Zambrano, it would end a roller coaster ride in Chicago. Zambrano, 30, had to waive his no-trade clause for such a deal to be completed, and given the chance to join Ozzie Guillen in Miami, he did so. Big Z is coming off a 9-7 season which ended abruptly Aug. 12. He served up five home runs to the Braves that day, then was ejected for throwing inside to Chipper Jones, and left Turner Field early. Zambrano told teammates he was retiring, and later recanted. He was subsequently placed on the disqualified list and did not pitch again for the Cubs.

This offseason, Zambrano made five starts for Caribes in the Venezuelan Winter League, and last pitched Dec. 27, giving up one run over 4 1/3 innings.

On Wednesday during a fan question and answer session, Epstein talked about how Zambrano has to change to fit into what the Cubs are trying to do.

“The Carlos Zambrano of 2011 and years previous can’t fit into the culture that we have here,” Epstein said. “Change needs to happen and change will happen. Either he’ll change and buy in and fit into this culture — and I understand there are a lot of skeptics around about that, and I understand that, and frankly, I’m skeptical as well.

“He needs to prove to us that he can change and be part of this culture,” Epstein said, “or we’ll change the personnel and move forward with people who are proud to be Cubs and treat their teammates with respect, treat the fans with respect and can be part of a winning culture in the Cubs’ clubhouse.”

Zambrano would likely be the fourth or fifth starter for the Marlins, joining a rotation of Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez, and Ricky Nolasco.

Volstad, 25, was 5-13 with a 4.89 ERA in 29 starts last season with the Marlins, striking out 117 over 165 2/3 innings. In 103 games over four seasons in Florida, he was 32-39 with a 4.59 ERA. Volstad earned $445,000 last season; he will not be a free agent until after the 2014 season. He would join a Cubs rotation that includes Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, Travis Wood and Randy Wells.

– Carrie Muskat

6 Comments

He he, thanks to Hendry we now have Volstad for 15-18 million dollars?? Ha. Well, here’s hoping that Volstad is better than what we got for one of Hendry’s other numerous mistakes…Silva for Bradley. Only Soriano and Dempster remain of the large albatrosses that Epstein inherited from the Great One. Give Epstein credit because he is purging this team of all the leftovers of the previous inept general manager…whether or not Zambrano rebounds next season. Good luck to Carlos, I hope he does well pitching in a much better organization and rotation than he’s been used to the last few seasons. Now, just waiting for the Soriano news…come on Theo!!!

New players, new culture are all great steps. But I heard an interview from a former Cub who said part of the issue at Wrigley is no access to batting cages during games to work on swings and the heat from numerous day games, as a fan I love day games. Are these types of issues also being looked at?

Absolutely no stone shoudl be left unturned in how to change the Cubs… I have been saying for numerous years that the facilities at Wrigley are TERRIBLE! That needs to change when you got 18mill+ premadonnas out there. Why would guys want to come and play where the facilities and atmosphere suck? Wonder why our guys are hurt all the time or at least seem to be? Upgrade the facilities to make it as comfortable as possible for these guys….. when you invest money in them why not squeeze every once of talent/return you can get?

On another note….. i like this move.. it saves the Cubs fighting with Z and about 2.5mill… still needs more work! Soriano needs to go!!!! IF that was the only other move we made then I would be happy. Pay 80-85% of the contract and get a midlevel spect back… done deal and move on

Petrey10…we agree AGAIN!?!?! Oh my.
Some guys would want to play here to collect a paycheck (thanks Jim) such as Soriano, Ramirez, Zambrano, Bradley….you know, the “Hendry Hiders”…they just show up to the park, play with limited talent, passion and ambition all the while “hiding” from a more pressure packed winning atmosphere and market. Probably why Ramirez went to Milwaukee right? Only some pressure to perform and he still gets to hide in the midwest market. None of these players ever vocalized the absence of better facilities. TIMES ARE A CHANGIN’!!! Epstein is starting with what he can quickly accomplish (moving players) and will then continue with Ricketts to improve the facilities.

I wonder if the Yankees might agree to straight swap of Soriano for Burnett. I don’t think Burnett can make us worse, and getting Soriano out of the outfield can only make us better. If nothing else we can bury him in the bullpen and use Burnett to eat up some innings.

Sure…anything to unload Soriano. Or…we can pull a page from Hendry’s playbook that he used when he thought none of us fans were paying attention and that is the ol’ Bradley for Silva swap, buy some time and LATER release Silva as if he had nothing to do with the bad Bradley money. So, Soriano for Burnett (hell, I’d settle for CAROL Burnett) and then release Burnett. As long as Soriano’s LF spot opens up for somebody that can play the position.

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