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Zambrano Issues Ultimatum

In a television interview yesterday, Carlos Zambrano drew a line in the sand.  He's leaving the Cubs if he doesn't have a contract extension before the season begins.  He even referred to himself in the third person.  Zambrano expects to be compensated like Barry Zito

A review of the Zito contract: seven years, $126MM guaranteed with a full no-trade clause.  Zito's deal also includes an eighth year option that could be reached based on innings pitched, as well as bonuses for winning the Cy Young.  Zambrano is a full three years younger than Zito.  And fair or not, pitching in the NL has kept his raw ERAs at 3.41 or less in each of his four full seasons.  While that may not make Zambrano the better pitcher, he'll get credit for it in his contract.

It's not hard to picture Zambrano as a $20MM player on the open market, all things considered.  And if he really wants to maximize his value he could take a three-year deal a la Rafael Furcal.  Zambrano was formerly represented by Scott Boras but now employs Barry Praver and Scott Shapiro.  Praver is best known for representing Sidney Ponson.

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cubs fans still against trading him to the yankees for Arod?

115 walks in 1 season an ace does not make. Neither does the fact that his arm is about to fall out.

bsox

dropping the race card, nice. You're just perpetuating even more ignorance, smart.

With that said, Zambrano is going to have a strong case for $100+ million over 5 years.

With Jason Mucus getting the contract he did from the Cubs, Zambrano has every right and deserves to get the contract extension he's pointing to. If the Cubs didn't give him the deal he deserves, I truly think the Wrigley fans would revolt.

but with the potential for his arm falling off (his competitive nature only furthers this worry), i wouldn't give in to the length he seeks in his contract. He might deserve $20 million, but he doesn't deserve a long contract.

Good call bsox, I totally agree. If he was white, I'd say 7/$130MM, if he was black, I wouldn't be as impressed with the strikeouts and would say more like 6/$90MM. But if he was Japanese, I might go up to 6/$100MM. Although if he was Russian, I would only go 3 or 4 years max. Thanks for making us realize that its the race that matters and not these silly numbers.

Jim Hendry should be fired immediately for not getting this done in November.

Hendry's failure to forecast this free agent market surge for starting pitchers will result in either him paying Zambrano an additional $5M per year, or losing Zambrano outright.
And how does one not get fired for such a mistake? We're talking about a possible $25M error. (I'm assuming CHI could have bagged him for 5/75 in November, but may have to settle for around 5/100 now).

I am a cubs fan and this is how I look at it.

I would say that this would be a pretty fair trade. However, we have got to have some pitching in return because it is our biggest weakness as it is. Trading away our ace is going to hurt, very badly.

So, I would say that it would have to be a trade like A-Rod and some kind of pitcher for Zambrano and a decent to good position player. Ramirez has a full no trade, so he is out of the picture. This makes it tougher becasue I don't know who the Yankees have to include that could help the Cubs staff.

If Prior pitches like 2003, thats another story. If he and Miller were completely healthy, which is a HUGE if, then I would do it straight up and play A-Rod back a short. Still, if they do trade him, I think they at least have to get a #3 or better type pitcher in return. (It would be downright depressing to have to send Lilly, Hill, or a questionable Prior out there as a #1). I would love to have A-Rod, but that trade is really, really hard to make if you look at the Cubs current rotation situation. They have depth for the first time in awhile, but no one else that can fill the #1 slot well unless Prior pitches in 2003 form, and there is NO ONE that is going to be counting on that.

Zambrano at 20 million per over 6 or 7 years sounds about what he should get. His VORP and Expect Wins are strong, coming in at 9th last year. He has great K/9s and good WHIP. All his neutralized stats are as good if not better. I can't attest to his health concerns but i see him getting atleast 120 million of 6 years.

I think to say race is a part of this is ridiculous. People drool over Santana, K-Rod, and Riveria and they are all Latin in origins. Zambrano gets about as much credit as anyone in his position would. The Cubs stink so all of their good players get lost in the shuffle. Derek Lee is a tremendous player that you hardly ever hear about. Is it because he is black? Race is in no way Zambranos problem, the Cubs are. Put him on a winner and he will be a star.

I agree, and Zambrano is a star even if he plays on the Royals.

However, if you put him on the Yankees, Mets, or Red Sox, he wins around 20 every single year. He is a stud. You can say his "arm is about to fall off" all you want, but there is no evidence to prove that other than he has thrown a ton of pitches. If anyone was going to be able to withstand that, it would be Zambrano and his body. Look at the guy! He is HUGE, and very, very strong. You are talking about a pitcher who can hit the ball over 400 feet. He has thrown a TON of pitches, and I see the injury concern. However, it hasn't really hurt him yet and with his body type there is no one in the majors built to withstand that better than Zambrano.

Yeah, Cubbies & Hendry are idiots for throwing huge buckage @ DeRosa & Marquis while letting Zambrano dangle. Knowing the guy is coming into his walk year, you would think they would have made inking an extension their very FIRST offseason priority, particularly with Prior and Wood still existining as huge question marks.

Hendry could have set his market for Z before all the foolishness with Zito, Meche, Marquis, Suppan, Padilla, etc., and now he will overpay to keep a guy who should have been locked-up first thing, if he can keep him at all.

You know what? Fuck 'em! We'll take Zambrano in NYC. I bet Omar Minaya is popping some serious wood this morning after seeing Z's demands hit the press.

Zambrano would look awfully nice in pinstripes next year, too, and that other team in Da Bronx is primed for a brand-new, young ace to open the new stadium in 2009.

If Zambrano can make it there, he'll make it anywhere, and he seems just the type to thrive in NYC.

Hendry, Cubs fans? "Stand clear of teh closing door, please...next stop, Yankee Stadium."

As a Cubs fan, I am hoping that he gets a 4\80 or 5\100 contract. That might be wishful thinking though.

Here is why Hendry is now screwed because he was an idiot the last two years not to see this coming.

Assuming Zambrano is asking 6 to 7 years, what does Hendry do?

People will tear him apart for not going that long, and throw fits that he let Zambrano go.

At the same time, if he give him 6 or 7 years, people accross the baseball world will tear him apart because he gave a power pitcher who has thrown WAY too many pitches a deal that could haunt them in two years, let alone 5, 6, or 7 years down the line.

Hendry should have seen this coming two years ago, let alone at the beginning of this off season. He will lose his job at the end of the year anyway if they don't make the playoffs...and even then will have a hard time keeping it if he screws up this Zambrano situation any more.

Yeah, Cubbies & Hendry are idiots for throwing huge buckage @ DeRosa & Marquis while letting Zambrano dangle. Knowing the guy is coming into his walk year, you would think they would have made inking an extension their very FIRST offseason priority, particularly with Prior and Wood still existining as huge question marks.

Hendry could have set his market for Z before all the foolishness with Zito, Meche, Marquis, Suppan, Padilla, etc., and now he will overpay to keep a guy who should have been locked-up first thing, if he can keep him at all.

You know what? Fuck 'em! We'll take Zambrano in NYC. I bet Omar Minaya is popping some serious wood this morning after seeing Z's demands hit the press.

Zambrano would look awfully nice in pinstripes next year, too, and that other team in Da Bronx is primed for a brand-new, young ace to open the new stadium in 2009.

If Zambrano can make it there, he'll make it anywhere, and he seems just the type to thrive in NYC.

Hendry, Cubs fans? "Stand clear of teh closing door, please...next stop, Yankee Stadium."

Yeah, Cubbies & Hendry are idiots for throwing huge buckage @ DeRosa & Marquis while letting Zambrano dangle. Knowing the guy is coming into his walk year, you would think they would have made inking an extension their very FIRST offseason priority, particularly with Prior and Wood still existining as huge question marks.

Hendry could have set his market for Z before all the foolishness with Zito, Meche, Marquis, Suppan, Padilla, etc., and now he will overpay to keep a guy who should have been locked-up first thing, if he can keep him at all.

You know what? Fuck 'em! We'll take Zambrano in NYC. I bet Omar Minaya is popping some serious wood this morning after seeing Z's demands hit the press.

Zambrano would look awfully nice in pinstripes next year, too, and that other team in Da Bronx is primed for a brand-new, young ace to open the new stadium in 2009.

If Zambrano can make it there, he'll make it anywhere, and he seems just the type to thrive in NYC.

Hendry, Cubs fans? "Stand clear of teh closing door, please...next stop, Yankee Stadium."

Oh, & fer da record, Zambrano is by all means worth way more than Barry Zito will ever be, so whover is fixing to sign him, be prepared to roll in the Brinks trucks...

Zito can't carry Zambrano's lunch into the locker room...

Please, please, please, please sign him to a $120M deal. Backload it heavily, like Soriano's. Big ol' moral hazard Hendry.

Seriously, I know Hendry hates walks, but spending $250M on Z and Soriano is borderline retarded. Luckily for Hendry he'll go down as the greatest person ever in the history of the city of Chicago, or he won't be around to see the disaster. Awesome.

It's pretty clear to me that Zambrano is worth a heckuvalotmore than Zito. I think it's pretty modest to be asking for Zito money, he's younger, better, equally durable, etc. His stuff is filthy and lends itself to GBs, but not as much as it used to. I think the only thing hurting him is his insanity/immaturity/whatever you wanna call it. On mound meltdowns, computer injuries, 3rd person "Big Z" references, and ultimatiums in the media probably make Chicago worry about making a long term commitment. If they're skiddish about giving the big man 8 yrs, 160mm, that's their call. In a numbers sense he's worth it. They know him better than anyone else. But given the money they threw at Lilly, it's tough to justify not paying Zambrano.

Agreed. Zito < Zambrano

Maybe not career wise just yet, but for the next 1-7 years for that matter, Zito is not worth Zambrano. If Zambrano starts in Zito's spot in oakland the last three years, his numbers are untouchable except by the other great pitcher from Venezuela.

this guy wants that much money but he let Boras go as his agent. That baffles me.

Oakland, and it's massive foul territory is going to help Zito (FB's) more than Z (GB's).

Zito gets shit on, but he maintains an outlier babip almost every year, and constantly beats DIPS. I would much rather have Z going forward, of course. But he is had a dramatically higher FB numbers and walked way too many people last year. I don't care if he strikes out 230, when he is walking half as many, it gets scary. Stir that around with some Wrigley Field, then hit frappe and you might not like the result. Maybe he can handle it, but his workload has been INSANE. 7/110 or whatever it is will bite the Cubs in the ass if they don't win it all in the next couple of years, I guarantee it.

Of course, his 2006 might be abberant, in which case Zito's 2004 might be as well.

I think Hendry would be a genius for NOT giving Zambrano the 7 year, $140 million contract he demands. As a Cubs fan, you'd be stupid to disagree. Here is why...

1) Sure, he might deserve $20. But then you are just paying for what you are getting. There is little possibility for upside and a relatively significant possibility that a large portion of that $140 million goes completely to waste if he develops shoulder problems and misses the better part of two seasons. And you can never be certain a player could even return from shoulder injuries to full effectiveness. With that said, the Cubs aren't the yankees or red sox. They can't afford to throw $140 million at a pitcher like that when there is little possibility for that he gives them a ton of positive value at that salary and a significant possibility that deal burns them. Take that $20 million a year, invest in more certainty. The market will correct itself over time. There is no way any pitcher deserves that much of a commitment when pitching contributions have so much variance and the risk of injury is so high (for any pitcher, let alone a guy who has been throwing 95 mph, 130 pitches into a game).

If you are a Cubs fan, and you are grilling them over their reluctance, I would think twice. There is a better chance that this turns out to be the best deal they've ever avoided than a deal they're regret not signing because he becomes undervalued at $140 million over 7 years.

It seems to me like Big Z would want a back loaded deal and the cubs would want a front loaded deal. Barring some unusual setback, Big Z is going to be an ACE for the next 2-3 years for sure. But after that his shoulder is going to be feeling it pretty bad I would guess. He may end up spending a significant amount of time on the DL, or on a suspension. I think that the best deal for both sides is a 3-4 year deal because even after those 3-4 years Big Z could still sign another huge contract with another team if the cubs decided to let him go. The other option that makes sense to me is a 6-7 year deal with an opt-out clause after 3-4 for IP totals or suspension, that would also give Big Z extra incentive to behave!

If I am the Cubs, I start seeing what I can get for Zambrano in a trade right now.

No way I give a power pitcher a seven year deal.

See what it takes to sign him, and if it's just nuts, see what the NY teams, or Boston, or anyone else willing to dump some money, are willing to do. I'm not the biggest fan of Wang, but if the Yankees are willing to start with Wang and Hughes, or something with Cano in it, you have to listen.

It seems to me like Big Z would want a back loaded deal and the cubs would want a front loaded deal. Barring some unusual setback, Big Z is going to be an ACE for the next 2-3 years for sure. But after that his shoulder is going to be feeling it pretty bad I would guess. He may end up spending a significant amount of time on the DL, or on a suspension. I think that the best deal for both sides is a 3-4 year deal because even after those 3-4 years Big Z could still sign another huge contract with another team if the cubs decided to let him go. The other option that makes sense to me is a 6-7 year deal with an opt-out clause after 3-4 for IP totals or suspension.

exactly why I would be alright with signing him for 3, 4, or 5 years at 20 mil per. When you get to 6 or 7, or even 8, it gets to be ridiculous.

If Hendry won't go longer than 5, he probably is making the smart decision. What if the Cubs are in the playoff hunt around the deadline, what do you do then??? It would be fine if they can get his value in a trade, but that is nearly impossible to do, and doing it in the midst of the playoff hunt decreases their chances tremendously.

I do think the Cubs can afford to pay him more than you think. They have been acting like a mid market team for awhile now, but the reality is that they sell out almost every game and sell as much merchandise as anyone except the yankees or red sox. I think they can pay him, but if they do, they aren't going to be players again in the FA market for at least 3 years, probably more. Thats a tough pill to swallow.

Why would he be suspended?? I don't know if he even ever has been. People blow his temper out of proportion. He doesn't go head hunting, the only time he hits anyone is when his pitches move TOO much. He never has a temper that he takes out with hitting people, and I don't think he has ever been in a brawl in his career.

Do you really think that someone is going to charge the mound on him, even if he did hit them????????

Zambrano is better than Zito right now...but, part of the reason why Zito was able to get the years he got was because his stuff is a better bet to continue his year in/year out 200 IP ways...as good as Zambrano's stuff is, and as much of a horse he has turned out to be, he's not as safe a bet to live out a similar amount of years pitching 200 IP every season...there's a big difference between 90+ mph and high 80s mph...

I don't see how Cubs fans would NOT want to give Z what he's asking for? You really think pitching contracts are going to "normalize" anytime soon? Ok, say you let Z go, not pay him the money... what kind of Ace do you think you're going to get??? And if one is available, you're gonna have to outbid teams like Boston or the two NY teams for him. There was a post here about not giving him the money because you're just gonna keep on getting more of the same from him and there's no upside from him... are you kidding me? You DON'T want more of the same from Z?! Hell, I'll take it in a heartbeat. Hendry is a moron, he shoulda/coulda/Eaaaaaastwooda taken care of this prior. Poor Cubbies...

If I am the Cubs, I start seeing what I can get for Zambrano in a trade right now.

No way I give a power pitcher a seven year deal.

See what it takes to sign him, and if it's just nuts, see what the NY teams, or Boston, or anyone else willing to dump some money, are willing to do. I'm not the biggest fan of Wang, but if the Yankees are willing to start with Wang and Hughes, or something with Cano in it, you have to listen.

Posted by: jakec | February 13, 2007 at 12:39 PM


yanks would not move Wang and hughes for Zambrano.

Translate the numbers of Zambrano from the NL Central ot the AL East last year and you pretty much have the numbers of Wang in many respects. Hughes on top of that? For a 1 year rental?

Good luck on that one.

If the Cubs were looking to cash in on a trade for a 1 year rental of the Z, their best bet is go down the list of the "win now" teams for 07.

The Yankees are not a "win now" team and have been pretty smart this offseason, maybe they've benefited from experience.

The Mets might be a better trade partner.

Jae-Kuk Ryu to drays for 2 minor leaguers

Pretty interesting negotiating.

For those who harass the cubs for not locking him up in November, who is to say that Carlos and his agents refused to discuss his terms until the free agents set the market? Automatically blaming management for that situation is incredibly near sighted.

Zambrano comes out and says "Now or I'm gone" effectively reducing the deadline trade value. Not necessarily by a lot...but it definitely changes the market of teams interested and the amount of interest they have knowing he'll be available post-season.

They must be close, he's scheduled for Feb 20th Arbitration hearing, so they're atleast working on it.

If Hendry cant sign this guy before the season starts to a long term extension, the Cubs need to trade Big Z right away. Now getting equal value back for a guy as talented as he is would be tough, but i think the yankees have EXACTLY what the Cubs need. How about Big Z to the Yanks for Rivera and Hughes. It does not appear that Rivera will be back in pinstripes next year, and the Cubs are in need of a closer. I know Ney Work is reluctant to trade their young stud prospect, but come on, do they really think Hughes is going to be better then Zambrano. Also, if any team can afford to sign Z to an extension, its gotta be the Yanks. I LOVE this trade for the Cubs. It saves us some money, gets us the dominate closer we so desperatly need, and gives us a young gun who can hopefully fill Big Z's huge shoes. What do you guys think?? fair deal at all

I don't really want Rivera. I think that even if Dempster isn't that good, Howry or Wood could be as good as Rivera...at least Rivera this year. I think that we need someone for the rotation....but then again, if the Cubs scouts are high enough on Hughes, it might be worth it. If the Cubs could do something like Hughes and A-Rod for Zambrano and maybe Murton and a prosepect (like the Cubs 3rd base prospect...I can't remember his name. Moore maybe?)I think its worth it. Doubt the Yanks would be cool with that though. I think A-Rod would have to be telling people he is going to opt out for that to even be an option.

I know that trade is probably out of the question....but what about a pitcher like Sean Marshall or Guzman??

So the trade would be Marshall or Guzman, Murton, and Zambrano

for

Hughes and A-Rod....

maybe wishful thinking from a cubs fan....

I agree with Tmar, and sadly I think the clubs most likely to do a “win now” move like this would be the Mets then… the Cubs…

Chi doesn’t have any kids about to hit their prime soon; their rookies haven’t hit the majors yet. All of their Stars are on the wrong side of the learning years which means it’s likely they will not get any better but will start getting at least a little worse. Guys like Wood, Prior and Miller probably won’t be around next year if they turn their careers back around, probably wont be wanted if they don’t. The Bullpen is locked up for this year and next but then they will need to embark on rebuilding it as well. They overpaid on guys like Marques and Lily just to fill gaping holes and eat innings, guys like DeRosa and Izturis are now locked up for more money then they are probably worth at multiple years just so they had someone to fill out the middle infield.

Then you have to think about the money. They are spending 107 Million this year, and are on the hook for another 88.3 Mil already in 2008 for only 14 players. If they were to spend 110 again in 08, that leaves only about 30 Mil to go around to 10 players (3Mil avg) on a team with a bunch of holes. 2009? Well they are on the books for 72.7 going to 7 players and if we maybe give 115 to spend that’s about 42 Million to find 18 Players (2.3Mil avg). 2010 Looks a little better again at 62 Mil for 5 players, or if given 120M is 58 Million (2.9 avg) to find 20 players, but who knows what level the “average player” contracts will be at by then. Problem will come in the fact that they only really have 1 Starter (Hill), the corner infielders and Soriano who are plus players going forward which means they will need to find more with little money to do it.

I really think this is their year, they have to push for it to happen now instead of hoping they can juggle the books vs the talent in the years to come. If they win the WS this year then their money to spend would go up helping the hole they have dug for themselves in the next couple years, if they don’t then they will have a hard time fielding a balanced team when so much of the money will be taken by players they probably wont want (Izturis, DeRosa, Marques, Jones etc) next year and on 09 for some, and a ton of money going to 3 guys (Lee, Soriano and Ramirez make 40 in 08, 45 in 09, 47 in 2010)

The Cubs shouldn’t trade him away even if they are going to lose him, they need to do everything they can to push for this to be their year. If anything I might be thinking of taking on another rental star from a team in a worse 07 position. They need this year…

You people are nuts.

The Yankees would not trade Hughes for Zambrano straight up. They would not trade Wang for Zambrano, straight up. Six years of a young pitcher is worth more than a year of even Santana. At best, one year of Zambrano would command a Lastings Milledge and a Heilman. Something like that.

The market will correct itself as soon as a team gets burnt for over $60 million when one of these guys goes down to shoulder surgery, misses the better part of two years and struggles to recover thereafter. I have no doubt in my mind Zambrano will want the most guaranteed money he can get. He won't sign for 3 or 4 years. He's not dumb. He'll take 7 years at $19 million before he takes 3 years at $23 mil. Its gonna take AT LEAST 6 years and at least $130 million to sign him. My guess is he holds out for 7 and $140 mil. At that price, as a yankee fan. I hope the Red Sox sign him. That deal has disaster written all over it. Don't get me wrong, he's a top 6 or 7 pitcher in baseball. But 7 years of commitment at that kind of money is a death sentence to a team.

And again, they won't be getting anyone like Hughes for him, not even straight up. BECAUSE pitchers are getting this much, guys like Hughes, who are controlled for 6 very cheap years, become even that much more valuable. Zambrano for Milledge and Heilman, thats the best you'll get unless some moronic GM is living in a myopia.

I believe that it was quoted that they should have around as much as a 30% payroll increase, as soon as this year. That puts them over 120 million, and actually gives them some room to work. Not a lot, but they will be dumping some players if they aren't going to be competing. Izturis won't be around very long, two years at the most. Jones will be around 2 years at the MOST, even if he doesn't get traded.

The Cubs do have some young players about to hit the majors. Pie, Patterson, Theriot, Murton for that matter, Marshall, Guzman, Marmol, should all be contributors in the next couple of years.

Hendry's job is on the line for this year, and that is obviously the approach he has taken. Still, if those players prove to be valuable, they could really help this team now and in the future.

Oh, and ADun I dont think there is any question A-Rod will opt out. He is set to make 81M over the next three then hit FA, I guearentee if he opts out he will be signed to a contract over 81Million dollars. Soriano got what 8/140? Well Al-So isnt near the hitter A-Rod is and Rodriguez will play a GG SS instead of the OF.

We have no clue what type of Money A-Rod would get; the best comparison would probably be his last contract ~ extreme! It would have to be atleast 5/125 I imagine which is 45 Mil or so more guarenteed money...

I think Zambrano could command a "Hughes" type prospect straight up if the team is allowed and reaches a long term commitment with him first. That way its not a one year rental.

Darkstar:

Do you think that A-Rod tries to play SS again? Its been awhile...thats obviously where the cubs would put him, but I think a team like the Angels, who probably are the front runners if he opts out, would play him at 3rd. Either way he is an upgrade over almost anyone. I hope he opts out.

The Yankees can't afford to trade Arod, even if he told them he'd definitely opt out. The guy is a yankee for around 16 mil, thats a bargain. There's no way the yanks could get equal value for him for one year, and they need him too badly to trade him away midseason. It won't happen. He might opt out, but he wont be traded.

yeah, the kids could help ~ could not help... know one knows. A rookie is a question, no one knows how they will take to their first year or two in the majors. You take them off what they can do for you in the long run not what their instant return would be.

With Izturis and DeRosa locked up it will be hard to insert both Patterson and Theroit. It would hard to imagine the Cubs going with two unprovens next year as full timers in Morton and Pie. I hear what you are saying completely, but they A) need to actually start playing and B) need to be instant stars for them to help too much before maybe 2009 or 2010.

If the payroll could go up to as much as 130 it would help, it will still be tight though because they have nothing in the way of starters if Z leaves and if even the bottom of the barrel is making 10Mil ish then a good chunk of that money will be going to players with little upside just to field a team...

What will happen to Zambrano's Future? I see Zambrano signing with the Mets next winter. Its a perfect place for him. They are the best NL team and they have a young nuclues to contain that success. They would pay him what he deserves which is a 5 year deal worth 130 million. The mets were smart not to pursue Zito, because that ultimately saved up money for Zambrano or even Johan Santana down the road (2008)...argue all you want but look at in his persepective

ZAMBRANO IS NOT WORTH HUGHES.

That's insane. You are suggesting that if the Cubs can lock him up (which will take $140 over 7 years) that THAT PLAYER with THAT CONTRACT is worth 7 years of a young stud at a bargain price. Not happening, not even close. You'd have a better chance of trading Jacques Jones for Andruw Jones.

Zambrano might even be a good investment at $90 million over 4 years. Once we go 7yrs at $140+, I wouldn't go anywhere near that discussion.

ADun,

yeah I see him playing short somewhere and only 3rd if the team he signs with has a SS who cant play elseware. His value over the avg SS is much more than his value over the avg 3rd (and yes they are both extreme)and I dont see why he wouldnt be able to play there once more. Shoot, I think the Yanks would have been better off playing him at Short, Moving Jeter to 2nd and signing a guy like Glaus back when they got him, but thats all besides the point now.

And I know Jeter got GGs at short but he isnt a very good fielder and mainly got them because hes the most popular fielder ~ some will argue but I'm not alone on that at all...

Chase035. Why wouldnt you not go anywhere near 140 an 7 yrs? He is the best pitcher available next yr. Hes young proven, wins eats innings, who else would u pay that much money for, zito?????

Chase,

Are you serious? Hughes could be good, or he might not. He is not a Stud in the majors, he was in the minors. So are a lot of players. Hughes is a very, very good prospect, dont get me wrong, but do you remember a guy named Todd Van Poppel? Prospects are not proven and Zambrano is. I am saying if the Yanks have a negotiating window and get him to agree to a five year deal, it would easily be worth that kind of prospect.

Do you have any idea what the Yanks rotation would look like with Z in it?? I know Cashman and the boss do.

Darkstar,

You are right, I don't think most of those guys make an impact in 2008...at least a huge impact.

The exceptions to that rule are Rich Hill, Matt Murton, and possibly Pie. You never know, if Patterson gets a shot at leading off and playing 2nd then he could actually make an impact in 2008 as well.

ADUNCAROO

I'm saying Zambrano has EVEN value at 20 million a year. At 7 years, that becomes NEGATIVE value. If I were a team, I wouldn't trade anyone for a player with that contract. I wouldn't want a player with that contract on my team, even if all i needed to trade was a pound of tuna. Now, with that said, there's no way in hell you'd get the top pitching prospect who has yet to pitch in the majors for him.

Chase,
I just know that they would love to see Z in that rotation. Hughes may never be better than a #3...you just don't know. Either do I for that matter.

Darkstar,
Izturis is only signed for this year with a club option for 2008 at 5 and a half million. That is NOT going to be picked up...so you have SS open (possibly to Theriot or Cendeno) and 2nd base will be open next year if there is someone better than DeRosa. So, it is actually a decent possibility that Theriot and Patterson could be starting in 08, and I'm betting at least one of them gets the job.

Sorry but fat 7 year contracts for pitchers is just plain insanity, I don't care who it is (Zito, Zambrano, Sabathia, Santano, whoever). Let the Yankees, BoSox, and Mets gobble up all of those contracts that they want because anyone with any sense knows that a fair share of them are going to be albatrosses.

The dilemma for the Cubs, of course is that they really don't have a stellar prospect pipeline (since when did Theriot become a hot propsect? Isn't he like 28 y.o.?) Losing Zambrano will be devastating for them. I still wouldn't give him 7 years. Period.

I didn't mean Theriot as a prospect, just a guy that could help them for the next 5 years that is very, very cheap.

For the record, Theriot is 27

However is saying Hughes is worth more than Zambrano is insane. Maybe you could make the case if Hughes was a prospect for the Marlins or Twins or Royals, but for the Yankees the money is not an issue. So money being equal, Zambrano is a sure thing, Hughes is not. Yankee fans and their prospects, you would think they are talking about their own kids.

For whoever said Zambranos stats would translate to Wangs if he was in the AL East, HA. Thats a good one.

Chase,

What are you talking about no GM would make a trade like that. Last year the Red Sox traded a top pitching prospect (Anibal Sanchez) and a top shortstop prospect (Hanley Ramirez) and another decent prospect (Jesus Delgado) for Josh Beckett. Considering Beckett is not the pitcher Zambrano is your assessment is not based on any fact. Please, stop arguing you are making yourself look like a typical Yankee fan.

as I mentioned in our "odds and ends" conversation (which there is a reply to you in now that I had more time), I find it hard to believe they would plan on benching DeRosa after signing him to a 3yr deal worth +4Mil a year for a guy who will probably only get a good amount of ML experience if DeRosa goes down with an injury.

Clearing 2nd up will save some money (didnt realize his was an option) but again it doesn’t allow for a + prospect to step in and if they do go with an in-experienced player there its even less likely they will have the same elseware on the field ~ teams don’t generally play 2-3 rookie while trying to compete, esp teams with a payroll over 100Mil.

J.Jones is going to be hard to get rid of despite the desire. They are probably stuck with him at his 6Mil next year ~ which truthfully isn’t that bad of a thing because they would need more experience than just Soriano and a possible Murton with maybe a little 07 experence so even if planning on playing Pie they will need a 4th guy on the team with some experience and if they don’t have faith in Murton (which it seems they don’t) then we could see a Murton/Jones ~ Pie/Jones type split giving him a bunch of AB in 08.

Oh and it didn’t register earlier but I’m pretty sure Ana would actually play A-Rod at SS as well, replacing OC. They currently have McPherson (if healthy) or even Figgins for 3rd, Kendrick for 2nd and plenty of guys they can play at 1st. If they could dump Cabrera and his insane contract for A-Rod it would be a huge benefit to the club. They do also have Aybar coming up the pipe but the return for him would be very good in trade and I don’t think anyone feels he will out produce A-Rod at the plate. I could be wrong, but that’s how I see it atleast…

and, uhh guys... Do you really think the Cubs would trade Zambrano and in essence give up on 07 after they just spent all that money to compete? It doesnt make since at all.

They knew going into the offseason that they might lose him and still tried to upgrade their club, I cant see them changing direction now after he states what was known to them already.

If the Cubs trade him now its really saying "uh, we have no clue what we are doing or what we expect out of 07, we just like to spend money and make flashy news"... It would be foolish for them to make a trade unless they receive a proven starter who will help along the lines of Zambrano who is signed for a longer amount of time ~ and what team do you think would trade the similar production for the guy with a 1yr contract? A trade of BigZ would bring prospects, if the Cubs were after prospects for 07 then they wouldnt have buried theirs under mediocre roster filler... They want to win now, and trading him will never result in that!!!

I think even if the Cubs didn't intend to ride Z's career out it would make sense to give him the contract he wants in order to keep him. They can always trade him in a few years if they think his wheels are going to fall off.

I think Hendry was hoping to wait until the deadline and if they weren't in it, trade him. If they were, sign him to a longer deal. Now that Zambrano spoke, he has to make that choice at the beginning of the season. If he will sign for 5 years, he will get at least 20 per and everyone will be happy. If wants longer, Hendry has some thinking to do.

Zambrano is an ace, but he's not an elite ace, at least not until he gets his emotions and control under wraps.

I can see his innings catching up with him soon. Bartolo Colon is a good example both in terms of body type and innings at a young age.

As far as him going to the Yankees, I could see him imploding just as easily as I could see him becoming an elite ace. He's a bit of a headcase, and that can really go either way. I don't really think he could get away with walking 100+ people in the AL East. Maybe the NL Central, but that division is a joke.

That division is a joke that has produced some of the best playoff teams in the last few years, including the winner of the world series last year.

I don't think his era would be as good in the AL east, but I have a feeling that many of his walks were because he was playing on such a bad team. The ONLY thing that he needs to do to become "elite" is cut down on his walks, he is absolutely "elite" in every other aspect of his game.

No, actually, I am far from a typical yankee fan. I'm suggesting that not even the yankees can afford to make the mistake of committing that much money to a pitcher for that long.

You guys don't get what i'm saying. I'm not saying Hughes is better than Zambrano. I'm not saying he will ever be close. I'm saying that it'd take an idiot to commit $20 million a year to a power pitcher for 7 years who could blow his arm out at any moment. A case can be made for Santana, but otherwise, NO PITCHER is worth that kind of money for that long. Even if Hughes turns out to be a 4th starter, I'd rather have him on the cheap than any pitcher with that contract. Zambrano is the face of my keeper team, don't get me wrong, I love the guy, great competitor. But in the real game, worth involves more than skill. Hughes at $300,000 is WORTH more than Zambrano at $20 million. Utility is a function of contribution per dollar. Hughes at $300,000 has much more potential for positive value.

If you don't understand what I mean, go read up in any baseball publication. Listen to Shapiro or Beane speak of value. Young pitchers who still have 6 years under club control are the most valuable assets in baseball now that pitchers salaries have ballooned.

100% correct. As a D-Back fan I remember the risk/benefit of a 1 year rental when we basically traded Schilling out for 1 month of Sexson.

What you don't understand is 20 million is as much as it once was. When Meche can get 10 and Schilling can demand 13 at his age, Zambrano is worth 20 over 6. You are dilusional if you think that the Yankees wouldn't trade Hughes for Zambrano 6 time till tuesday. You can't even talk about Beane in this sense, if money was not an object he would do that trade in a second and money isn't an object for the Yanks. This debate is insane, for a year of Zambrano garenteed, every team would trade their top prospect. Look at trades in the past dude that have players of his caliber and you will see that it is true.

1) My problem isn't the $20 million, as I've said over and over. It's not that I think Zambrano isn't worth $20, maybe even $24 million over one season.

2) Its the years and the fact that a young pitcher like Hughes who will only cost the yanks $45 million or so over those same 7 years (100 million less than Zambrano).

3) No pitcher is worth the risk of 7 years at that price. I would bet my life the Yankees wouldn't trade Hughes for a year of Zambrano or even 7 years of him AT THAT PRICE.

4) You don't understand the economics of baseball if you think they would. Even the Yankees have to leverage their young talent when it comes cheap. The team actually loses money every year. If it weren't for the YES network they'd be in the red. They do have a budget.

5) The deal wouldn't be Hughes for Zambrano. If Hughes will cost $45 mil and Zambrano $145 mil, each for 7 years, then any trade of Zambrano for Hughes would be:

Hughes + $100 Million for Zambrano.

6) That $100 million will buy them about 5 years of Mark Teixiera. I'm sorry, but I'd rather have Hughes and Teixiera than Zambrano.

7) Anytime you make a trade, its not just one player for another. You have to take salaries into account.

8) No player is capable of outperforming his cost to the team than a young pitcher. Its simple, simple economics.

9) The past is the past. In todays market, since pitchers are making so much, young pitchers of that caliber are gold.

10) I can count, maybe I'm not so "dilusional"

Btw,

Why trade Hughes for Zambrano when they could just keep Hughes and use the $140 million to sign Santana (that would cover the first ~ 5.5 years of a Santana deal.

So I ask again, would you rather trade Hughes for Zambrano or keep Hughes and use that same money to add Johan Santan...

Hughes and Santana or Zambrano?

Still think I'm "dilusional."


Ok First off, Zambrano is not a Rental player. If he is delt it will be on condition of a contract extension.

If its before the season I think The Yanks are the only team that has the available money for such a contract, however I agree that the yanks are likely licking their chops for Santana.

Another option the Angels? I'm just thinking in terms of what the cubs could want back. Escobar, aybar saunders? I realize alot of people may suggest more however he "is" demanding a trade basicly which lowers his value. Getting 2 strong pitchers 1 who can be your #1 this season and a future top 3 guy who will make a good #5 this season. And you get a Middle infielder which the Cubs have been in a desperate need for.

Just an idea

In my humble opinion the Cubs will give Zambrano a large Chunk during Arbitration. This will calm down Big Z so they can discuss an extension. Z wants to stay a Cub. He just wants to get paid. He has stated, which has been posted on this website, but I paraphrase, "I'm not greedy but I want Zito Money". He is worth 7 at 128 with incentives for the final 3 years. Front load the contract a bit. Say first year 24 second year 23 third year 22, and 4th at 21, then have an team opt out. He is still only what 32 and can get another pay day. This gives the Cubs an out on injury. It also gives Zambrano 90 over 4 years. Then for the final 3 years have incentives of 3-4 mil for 200 innings, that puts it at around 7 for 140. Another 3 mil per year for Cy Young. IF he is pitching well he can continue. It gives the Cubs some flexibility down the road. Its a win-win.

But the issue is how odes his agent want to handle it? Get some piece of mind now? He risks injury this year and no pay day. I think in my scenario its best for both sides. The Cubs are built to win this or next year. They need to get some good innings from Wood/Prior/Miller and a healthy Lee/Ramirez/Soriano. And they need Jones to play CF well for 1-2 years.

The difference between Zito and Zambrano is Zambrano CAN hit. That is worth a few extra dollars per season. Big Z will stay in the NL. He likes to bat. He also likes the Friendly confines because it helps his HR totals.

But give Big Z his money.

BTW.. Its NOT just the Mets and Yanks who would pay huge for big Z. I know that Minaya wants to build the Latin All-Stars + David Wright, but Anaheim also has a pretty good contingency of Latin players, and a pretty good pay roll. Also just think what the Dodgers may want to give him. Shoot the Cards may pony up some cash for a Zambrano. I think that Pujols may be able to persuade him as well. I am getting a little tired of the East Coast flap here. Every time Zambrano or Santana is discussed they are always going to NY.

But that is my Pre-Tax $.02 worth

As a Cubs fan, here's some things to ponder re: Z:

Find out now what teams would be willing to deal for Z. Let's say Anaheim offers Brandon Wood and Ervin Santana (just being hypothetical). Logically, it would make sense to trade Z for those players realizing that you would then have $20M to spend this offseason.

I really don't think the Cubs will contend this year. There's still too many question marks. If the Cubs could get a good deal from an Anaheim, NYY, or NYM...it may be worth it considering Z's demands.

I love Z...don't want to lose him. But his comments put the Cubs in a predicament that should result in a trade. There's no way that I want to commit a Zito-type contract to any pitcher regardless of the market. 5 years is even too long for a power-pitcher, IMO.

So, Jim, get some offers and allow a 72-hour window for an extension. If you get an offer that includes a Brandon Wood or a Phil Hughes...go for it!! Not only would you get prospects, but you'd have some more money to spend this offseason.

Then again...I'm just a stupid Cubs' fan.

Let me also comment that I personally don't really like what the Cubs have done this offseason.

I really wanted Trader Jim to start dealing players at the deadline last year because I felt a rebuild mode was an absolute must. I wanted to the Cubs to commit more money and resources to development and hopefully long-term sustainability.

Instead, this franchise could potentially be strapped for years to come...and that sucks. If we don't win now, we ain't gonna win for a long while!

With that, I think I'm officially on the "Trade Z for really good prospects" bandwagon. The market is too high for pitchers like Z, and I don't want the Cubs to take the bait on this one.

The only thing that scares me about my proposal is that we've seen how Hendry can spend $20M. He'd probably sign next year's version of Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis. That would suck...BAAAAD!

chase: "Even the Yankees have to leverage their young talent when it comes cheap."

Since when?!?

The Yankees have traded their best prospects for veteran stars at every opportunity for the last decade. In fact their minor league system is only now returning to respectability after being repeatedly drained of young talent in trades for high-priced stars.

Hughes for Zambrano would be perfectly in keeping with the Yanks' modus operandi.

And setting aside the question of whether Zambrano is worth 7/$140M or whatever, what you're failing to realize is that elite pitchers in the last year of their contracts have historically netted bigtime returns in trades.

See Randy Johnson (for Freddy Garcia and Carlos Guillen). See Bartolo Colon (for Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, and Brandon Phillips).

Heck, see Jason friggin Jennings this year.

If you don't think Zambrano is squarely in that class, then you're nuts.

agreed. If beane has a near 200 mil payroll, he makes this deal in a second.

Davearm

You are not familiar with Yankee management. Or Baseball management for that matter. The Bartolo Colon trade, in retrospect, was a disaster. And you can't just put money aside like you suggested. This is a business. Teams can't go on losing money each year and digging themselves a long term hole.

For the past decade, Cashman has been constrained by "Steinbrenner's People." The Yankees were dominant in 1996-2000 because of their farm system (think Jeter, Rivera, Bernie, Pettitte). The team, YES network aside, has been losing tons of cash over the past few seasons. Now that Cashman has been given more control, the mindset has changed. Stability is essential, and Cashman is now moving the team away from the myopia of trading elite prospects for short term gains. What you are suggesting is just bad business. Have the Yankees done it in the past? Sure. Have other teams? Sure. That doesn't mean its smart.

Again, Zambrano IS in that class. Its just BAD, BAD business to deal a young, potentially stud pitcher for a guy who could be a $140 million dud with one strain of that shoulder. Even if he stays healthy, he'd only be worth $155 million max. The risk/reward just isn't there for me to sign him on the open market, let alone trade my best prospect and then do so.

Hold on a second. This is crazy. Think about what you are saying. Address this point, and this point alone.

Why would ANY TEAM trade a guy like Hughes for Zambrano, instead of just waiting til he is a free agent? Or even better, saving the money for Santana? If need a big pitcher, they'll sign Clemens. He could be almost as good as Zambrano and wouldn't require trading anyone. The Cubs have no leverage in this deal. Teams can simply wait til he became a free agent. The only way anyone would make a huge trade, therefore, is if they need a big pitcher to carry them this season. If a team can sign Clemens for one year without trading anyone, why the hell trade Hughes for Zambrano. It makes no sense, whatsoever.

"Why would ANY TEAM trade a guy like Hughes for Zambrano, instead of just waiting til he is a free agent?"
For the same reason(s) that the Astros dealt for Johnson... or the Expos dealt for Colon... or the Astros dealt for Beltran... and so on and so forth.

Teams in contention routinely are willing to mortgage a chunk of their future for a chance to win now. You see it every single year.

Who would give the Yanks a better chance to win the 2007 World Series: Zambrano or Hughes?

If you can answer that, then you can answer your own question.

Chase: I can somewhat understand the angle that you're coming from, but...

Teams like the Yankees want to win now. If they can get Zambrano for a suspect, which is what Hughes still is, there's no way they wait to play the bidding game in Free Agency. That makes no sense.

The Cubs DO have leverage. They don't HAVE to trade Z this year even if he doesn't get an extension.

If the Cubs are out of contention (which they likely will be!) and haven't signed Z, there will be plenty of teams waiting in line for a shot at him for the stretch run. The more teams involved, the more leverage the Cubs have.

Great pitching is rare. Pitching wins championships. A work-horse like Zambrano would be highly sought after. The Yankees might not be willing to part with Hughes, but there will be teams willing to part with some decent prospects for his services. At least, I would think so.

With the AL Central and the NL East looking competitive at this point, the Cubs could use the competing teams within those divisions to increase their leverage.

This is all pretty much a moot point anyways. I think Hendry HAS to sign him.

"You are not familiar with Yankee management. Or Baseball management for that matter."

I'm very familiar with what the Yankees and others have been willing to trade away to get the guy they see as the final piece of the championship puzzle.

You've got your logic, but you're ignoring the fact that history teaches us that teams don't operate under that logic. At least not all teams, the Yankees included.

As a matter of fact, the Yankees are the perhaps most notable counter-example to your logic. Their philosophy has been, who needs prospects when you've got money?

Has that changed? Maybe, maybe not. If they had Hughes for Zambrano staring them in the face, my bet is they go right back to what they've often done before, and make the deal.

You just ignored what I said. Clemens is available. They wouldn't have to trade Hughes to get him.

Do you know what BATNA is? Its a teams best alternative to a negotiated agreement (trade, contract, etc.). The Yanks have a large BATNA here. They can sign Clemens this year, they could try for Santana long term, etc. The Cubs, given Zambrano's demands, would have a low BATNA if they fall out of the race and decide to deal him.

Try reading the whole post next time, you totally ignored the Clemens comment, which provides an option EVEN IF they Yankees were crazy and got desperate. I understand where you are coming from. You are a Cubs fan or whatever and you have a GREAT pitcher. You'd expect to be able to get a good return for him. I agree. But a great return is a Milledge and a Heilman. Maybe. Thats the best you'll get.

"You'd expect to be able to get a good return for him. I agree. But a great return is a Milledge and a Heilman. Maybe. Thats the best you'll get."
Once again, you ignore recent history.

Guys of similar stature as Zambrano have been traded for much more than Milledge and Heilman, even as short-term rentals.

Heck, Gary Sheffield, at 38, coming off an injury, and with 1 year remaining on his deal landed a top-shelf prospect (Sanchez), plus more.

You're out to lunch if you don't think Zambrano would yield quite a bit more than that.

Milledge and Heilman. Please.

If you factor age, health, stats, and consistency, Zambrano is the best pitcher to be available (even if it was a rental) in a long, long time. The guy is only freakin 25 years old, and is an absolute stud. 25!!! I understand about Santana, he is the best pitcher in baseball. However, you would be getting him, in a 7 year deal, at ages 28-34, while you would get Z at 26-32. Those are prime years for a power pitcher, and he would still only be 32 when the contract was up. 7 years when the guy is going into his 26 year old season is not as bad as we think. I still hope that he signs for 4 or 5, but I don't know if thats going to happen. I'm not saying that its a great thing to do, signing a pitcher for that long, but at his age with his history, its much better than most pitchers.

Just for the heck of it, I went back a bit and checked which other guys have been in the "top pitching prospect in baseball" discussion over the years.

Here are the top three rated pitching prospects, by year, according to Baseball America.

2004: Edwin Jackson, Greg Miller, Scott Kazmir
2003: Jesse Foppert, Jose Contreras, Gavin Floyd
2002: Josh Beckett, Mark Prior, Juan Cruz
2001: Beckett, Jon Rauch, Ben Sheets
2000: Rick Ankiel, Ryan Anderson, John Patterson
1999: Ankiel, Bruce Chen, Brad Penny
1998: Kerry Wood, Matt White, Kris Benson
1997: Wood, White, Benson
1996: Paul Wilson, Alan Benes, Livan Hernandez
1995: Armando Benitez, Bill Pulsipher, Benes

Not a very inspiring list. There are a few stars, several league-average types, and the rest are busts.

The Yanks would be nuts to turn down Hughes for Zambrano.

Chase

Who than would the Yankees be willing to trade Hughes for. if not a starter that is at worse a great #2? You can't make the argument that because Clemens is out there if makes a Zambrano trade pointless because 1) Zambrano is currently a much better pitcher than Clemens and 2) Clemens hasn't made any inclination that he would want to return to the Yankees. I love Yankee fans, they think they can get any player they want and the players they already have (besides there best player A-Rod) are amazing. So going back to my question, i would love to hear a couple players you would be willing to trade Hughes for. Personally i would be shooting Santana if i was the Yankees.

With all this talk about the yankees and cubs it should be focused on the mets who r goin to eat the NL alive....oliver perez will blossom to a star and alou will hit for some big numbas

The Mets are woefully thin on starting pitching... it's one questionmark after another.

Unless that situation is addressed, they won't be eating anyone alive but their own bullpen.

In fact the Mets would be wise to put a big bid in on Z. He'd boost that club's chances in 2007 tremendously.

I think race has absolutely nothing to do with it. While Zambrano is a top 25 pitcher (the suggestions that he's better han Zito are ludicrous) the reason the Cubs are lowballing him is that he's a complete headcase. I certainly wouldn't want to overpay him to play for one of my favorite teams. Who know what's going to blow up first, his head or his arm?

I have to wonder if the presence of Lou Piniella might have something to do with lowballing Zambrano, as he's a hard-nosed manager and I'm certain "Big Z's" flip-out act rubs him entirely the wrong way. It's a powderkeg and could explode at Wrigley this season.

I don't think Z would net as much as Hughes, but using the "bargaining window" leverage, which basically gives a club the Cubs rights to extend Z, the Cubs could net some real good talent for Z.

The Cubs would be basically selling exclusive negotiating options on Z.

1) I'm a Yankee fan. A rational one. I'm an economics major though, and I can't overlook the ridiculousness of what is being asserted. It's not that Hughes is better than Zambrano. Zambrano isn't a number 2. Zambrano is a sure fire, top tier number 1 starter. So for the 50th freakin time. Zambrano >>>> Hughes.

But that point holds salary constant. Why the hell would you hold salary constant? This is a business.

Besides money, you're not factoring in the fact that Clemens is available. Don't tell me Zambrano is in another class above Clemens. You sound moronic.

Clemens (2005/2006): (1.87/2.30 ERA), (7.9/8.1 K/9), (.198/.216 BAA), (2.6/2.3 BB/9)

Zambrano (2005/2006): (3.26/3.41 ERA), (8.1/8.8 K/9), (.212/.209 BAA), (4.8/3.5 BB/9)

I'll even give you the benefit of the doubt that they'd have similar value pitching in the AL East after the allstar break. That Clemens is older and it will bring that ERA up over 3. But to suggest Zambrano is a class above is ridiculous.

2) Humberto Sanchez is good. Maybe a #3 or a power arm out of the pen, but he doesn't even project to be #1. I don't know where you get your information from. Sanchez is overrated, if anything. (For more on this, see baseballprospectus).

3) I wouldn't trade a pitcher who has ace #1 starter potential, period. Neither would Beane. Neither would Shapiro. Neither would any GM with a decent head on his shoulders. I'm not speaking for these people. Look at statements they've made recently. The market for pitching has changed the value that clubs place on elite SP prospects. You just don't trade them under the conditions of the current market.

Anyway, I've said my share. I think you've got a sense of whats going on, you're just ignoring the economics of the game because its something fans usually dont think about. I can't do that. And economically, Zambrano at $140 million over seven seasons is someone I wouldn't want. For free (i.e. no prospects at all). Because he isn't free. He's $140 million.

Who cares about Beane? What did you just read money ball and think it was amazing and he is a brilliant. Beane is so overrated its not funny, he has made some really awful transactions of late.

No GM will trade top pitching prospects for a one year player? Houston trade Buchholz and Hirsh for Jennings. Jennings isn't even close to the pitcher Zambrano is. The Red Sox traded a top SS prospect and Anibal Sanchez for Beckett and once again Beckett is no Zambrano. The Cards trade Dan Haren, Calero, and Barton for Mulder alright well back than Mulder was comparable to Zambrano. Victor Zambrano was once traded for Scott Kazmir, ok i'll give you that once Victor is definatly the better Zambrano. Curt Schilling was traded for Glenn Davis. Randy Johnson was traded for a bag of balls to the Mariners. John Smoltz was traded for a wifful ball bat. All three of those were great prospcets that turned out better than Hughes might ever. You can't just say people wont do it, you have to prove it. These are just the major examples i could remember, every July a top prospect is trade for the win now option. So before you are gonna make stupid claims and tell us how "experts" wouldn't do it, actually look at some facts.

What you clearly don't understand is that 20 million for Zambrano isn't bad. It will actually be a steal and with Zambrano that Yanks would be clear cut favorites to win it all. The Yankees would be more than willing to trade ANY single prospect to drastically increase their chance of winning a WS. Prospects come and go but their is only one champ every year.

You never answered my question, by the way. Speaking as a typical blinded Yankee fan who would you trade Hughes for.

Ha, thank you for proving my point. Most of the deals you just mentioned (Kazmir, Hanley Ramirez, Haren, etc.) were disasters for the team dealing the prospect. And another thing, Hirsh and Anibel Sanchez were projected as #3 starters, not aces. I agree, pitchers like that aren't untouchable. Hughes is considered in baseball circles (non-yankee baseball circles) to have clear cut, ace potential. You've spoken either of players not in that category or players who were, who turned out to be a disaster for the team who traded them.

Again, I wouldn't trade Hughes for any single player because there isn't anyone out there right now who has the potential to outplay his salary as much as a young pitcher could in his first 7 years. I guess I would trade him for Felix Hernandez. Maybe Verlander. Guys like that. Young pitchers with equal or better potential who are still making ~$300,000 and are worth 40x that.

Its kinda like stocks. You can spend $20 on a stock that has a 10% chance to give you a $25 return and a 5% chance of crashing to $0. I'd rather invest in a stock that only costs me $1 and has a 25% chance of giving me a $15 return and a 75% chance of never paying off. I can use the money I have left over to invest in some more certainty and diversify my risk. And I'll wind up with a better portfolio than you, every time.

And I'm not some idiot. I've got some experience in this area. Think through that analogy. Maybe you can see where I'm coming from.

Another way to evaluate this deal is this. Zambrano would be earning market equilibrium wages (where supply meets demand) if he hit the open market. Hughes' salary will be surpressed by non-market controls on wage, to the point where his salary will be below his real market equivalent value for the next 7 years. What would you rather have? A guy you have to pay what he deserves, or a guy who can underpay for a while?

I've submitted this scenario to baseball america. Specifically, whether changes in the current market for pitchers have resulted in teams, even the Yankees, becoming completely unwilling to part with potential #1 starters. From everything I've read, (ESPN Insider has some great baseball articles on management strategies, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus also provide some informative insight) there is no way the deal you suggested would ever take place.

Yankees beat writer...

"The real authority here at Legends Field now belongs to Cashman, who not only negotiated his deal to boost his pay but also his power. This is finally, firmly and clearly Cashman's organization, a place where youth, flexibility and cost-cutting -- especially cost-cutting -- is emphasized.

Cashman's calculations have no room for emotion. He's always hated waste (beyond the team's five elimination losses during his tenure, he never took a defeat harder than when Jeter beat him in arbitration years ago). And he appears to have taken to heart occasionally negative remarks from partners regarding the team's sky-high payroll, which remains in the $200 million neighborhood. But even that finally seems under Cash's control.

Cashman's general plan to emphasize youth is probably overdue, and he's drawing praise for importing young pitchers Humberto Sanchez and Ross Ohlendorf, in particular (although one scout claims Ohlendorf is overrated)." -

Ok, this is going on way too long here guys where all the facts seem to be ignored...

1) Cubs are in 'win now' mode, not win in 2 or 3 years mode. Win now mode doesn't mean you trade your best bet to help the team.

2) Yankees are not in 'win now' mode, they are in 'let's fix our problems and not create more' mode. They A- are placing value in prospects B- trying to rid themselves of bad contracts and C- have better options then trading a possible stud for 1 extra year of a guy you are assuming they even want. Let's not forget the Yankees are in this mind state because of making stupid moves like what is being proposed here too often in the past, why would they risk multi mil on what has a very good likelyhood of being a bad contract + give up their top prospect when everything they are doing is in a different direction?

3) the Cubs knew they might lose him before he said he wants a deal done before ST and did nothing. They knew he could be leaving at the end of 06 last year and didn't trade him at the break when they were out of it. Why would they trade him now just because the fans are starting to realize what they have known for a long time?

4) only teams feeling they are one pitcher away are likely to trade a top prospect for a rental. Are the Yankees 'one pitcher away' from making the 07 playoffs or do you feel they will probably be going even if they don't make the trade? What would the trade mean to them, maybe 3 more wins then they are expected to get? Is that really worth it in your mind? Another team mentioned is the Mets. Where this does make more since because they don't have a great rotation, the fact they are favirotes to win their division makes it rather pointless! What would it mean for them, they have an easier time winning a division they are expected to win while sacrificing the future ~ makes no sense... When they traded for V.Zam and Benson they were trying to overtake a team so it made sense (kinda), now they are the team to overtake so it doesn't.

Other teams who would likely do a deal like this in recent years - Ana (rebuilding with kids), Dodgers (not about to be bitten with another huge MultiMil contract to power pitcher), Bal (not close enough to contention), Bos (too many starters now), WhiteSox (well...maybe), Tex (also possible)

So, the most likely suiters are prob ChiW and Tex ~ as both these teams would actually stand to beifit from the added push he would give as they are fighting their way into contention ~ for a guy the Cubs WON'T TRADE.

If they fall out of contention fast in 07 maybe they do it at the break, but a 1/2 year rental won't bring a #1 prospect and he would be dealt to some team who is so close and needs the push but has little idea of resigning him. Maybe Hou is such a mid-season trade partner IF the Cubs fall apart but that's within the division which is hard to imagine. Otherwise the big spenders will just wait till after the season to sign him, makes no sense unless they just aren't producing (and won't Pedro be the Mets mid-season pickup? That would negate their need...)

But really, why do the fans think the Cubs are thinking of trading him just because the fans are starting to think he won't be with the club in 08? The Cubs knew it to be the case and pushed to win in 07; it dawns on the fans and they seem to just toss 07 in the trash...

News flash, Lee, Soriano and Ramirez are not going to get better in the coming years, the money is already in a bad possition and the team doesn't have a bunch of youngsters ready to take over... This is the Cubs time NOW which is why they signed insane contracts this offseason, not later when they know they are going to have big problems. Trading Z is counter provictive to the situation they are in even if they do get a top prospect! (a #1 'sure thing' prospect is still a 50/50 chance of any ML return afterall)

Oh and before someone says something stupid like "if a prospect is a 50/50 why wouldn't you trade him" I figured I better say 'you have to weigh the gain vs the cost'. Would you trade what would mean years of production for what could mean 2-3 extra wins in 07? A prospect may pan out, may not - but you never trade him for a minimal difference unless you really need that difference.

Favirotes to win are that for a reason meaning grabbing for a game or two isn't important, and sure maybe Zam provides 4-5 more wins for the Mets over the 5.00 ERA guy they use instead, its still 5 games they aren't expected to need to win it.

LOL x3 at you, chase, for trying to pull rank with the "I'm an economics major" boasting.

That's going to get you nowhere fast in this discussion. Trust me on this.

You've got a great thesis going on why GMs should not trade elite young prospects for expensive, proven veterans.

But you've yet to address the fact that GMs do, in fact, trade elite young prospects for expensive, proven veterans. And they do it every single year, in situations exactly like this one.

And don't give me, "well those deals were disasters." That's irrelevant. They still happened, and continue to happen to this day (see: Jennings, Jason).

darkstar --

The NY teams are not shooting to make the postseason. They're shooting to win the World Series. And BTW, neither team has done so in several years.

If you don't think acquiring an ace-caliber pitcher like Zambrano to front their postseason rotation would give those WS aspirations a major boost, then we may as well just stop talking now.

Now would either of those teams surrender one or more of their top prospects for that sort of boost? Maybe, maybe not.

What we do know is that those two teams, and many others, have done just that in the past.

How is that irrelevant. If its usually a dumb move, why do it? Again, scouting reports had soured on Hirsh, he was no where near the caliber prospect I have been speaking of. I'm talking elite, not good. I've said this, but you don't listen. I give up.

You say Hirsh isn't near the caliber of Hughes; I say Jennings isn't near the caliber of Zambrano.

Anyway, giving up is probably a good choice for you, since you are clearly unable to step out of your theoretical world of what should and shouldn't happen long enough to recognize what actually does happen in the real world.

Chase/DarkStar

This is my opinion. MLB Revenues have doubled since 1999. Thus the boom of salaries. 5 years from now 20-22 mil for legit # 1 starter may be cheap. As its been mentioned Gil Meche what 5 for 55. Ted Lilly 4 for 40, so you can see where pitching is going. Just look at what relievers are getting. With that rational what will Hughes get when he gets an extension or becomes a free agent. Chase you should under stand this part as a Economics Major.

Zambrano is 25 and will turn 26 on June 1. Philip Hughes turns 21 on June 24. We are talking about 5 years. Now the question is how soon will Philip be ready for the bigs? He has pitched 237 total innings in minor leagues with only half as high as double a. How soon will he be ready? Will 1 year of Clemens be enough to get Hughes to come up? Has Hughes ever had any arm trouble? Shoulder Trouble?

Last year Zambrano pitched 214 in the show with a 3.41 ERA. Zambrano has 977 innings in the Majors with a 3.29 ERA. Now the question on Zambrano is he is a power pitcher, can he hold up? How different is he than say The Same Roger Clemens you mention or say Nolan Ryan. Both power pitchers who both pitched in their 40s. Shoot didn't Ryan have a no-no after 40? Now I am NOT comparing them other than it is possible for a power pitcher to pitch deep in their career.

Lets now look at another power pitcher with a very different frame. Pedro Martinez. There is NO comparing Martinez and Zambrano physically. Just looking at them who would you guess being able to be a power pitcher to say 35? Look at Zambrano vs.. Santana as well for that matter. Just physical comparisons.

Now some Astros fan said that Zambrano is a head case. Ok say big Z is off the deep end? What is the makeup of Hughes? Is he a 20 year old Cocky hurler?

These are all things that need to be considered.

Now lets look at what was just mentioned. Ok Mets and Yanks may get to the post season with what they have. Neither had the horses to compete post season. Remember that Shilling/Johnson beat Clemens/Mussina/Petite Yankees in the 2001 WS. So a legit #1 is a necessity for the WS.

What about the current Yankees rotation? There are a few older gents on that rotation some with histories of problems. If one of them goes down what then? Isn't it better to have a proven inning eater now and for a few years better than not? Also wont he save the bullpen innings as well?

Final thing is I keep hearing that Zambrano could get hurt blow out his head/arm. Its the same side of the what if coin for Philip Hughes. He may not develop to anything. So you save some money by keeping Hughes but you may end up spending it on another pitcher if he doesn't develop. Possibly more than 4-40 for a Lilly type pitcher.

So taking all that in is Zambrano worth Philip Hughes?

I have mentioned this before but its worth repeating

Big Z just wants to get paid. He has stated, which has been posted on this website, but I paraphrase, "I'm not greedy but I want Zito Money". He is worth 7 at 141 if you front load the contract a bit. Say first year 24M second year 23M third year 22M, and 4th at 21M, then have an team opt out. Then another 18M per year for the final 3 years and if he meets his insentives of of 5M per seaons (after the first 4) for 200 innings, that puts it at what around 7 for 156. Then add another 3 mil per year for Cy Young. He will still be only what 33 when the 7 year contract is done and can get another pay day. This gives the Cubs an out on injury. It also guarentees Zambrano 90 over 4 years, its a win-win

Yea, i'm done with this debate, it's pretty stupid. Sutff like this has happened over and over again and you are arguing no one would do it. Your point is mute even if most of those trades ended bad. Plenty of trades like that have happened and the prospect was a bust, if you don't believe me you do the research.

If you really think Cashman wouldn't trade a prospect that could easily flame out and ammount to nothing or could be a stud, no one knows, Whats the old saying their is no such thing as a pitching prospect, for a 27 year old Ace at 1 year 6.5 million plus the advantage in signing him to a decent contract (20 million for him is decent), not to mention the fact that he will greatly increase the Yanks championship hopes, than fine you win. I agree with you that i'm crazy, you are the economics student. Clearly, that makes you an expert in baseball dealings or it means nothing and you are a typical Yankee fan. Either way you are the expert, i yield to you.

you, you're right, i'm a morn. Trading Hughes for Zambrano is a great idea. Go get em Cash. Don't worry about the fact that your marginal utility over Clemens is almost nonexistent. Or the fact that you can't afford to sign Clemens once you've taken on the $15 million Zambrano is going to get this season. Or the fact that you'll get fired for giving the pitcher most suspected of being overworked a guaranteed, $140+ million dollar contract that will run the team into the ground. Or the fact that you'll become the laughing stock of GM's, akin to Steve Phillips, and be forced into the booth on Baseball Tonight. Oh, and one more thing Mr. Cashman. Be sure to thank our friend Ripwa for all of it.

i've further proved your point. I can't even spell moron. Listen to the man Cash.

http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/hotstove06/insider/columns/story?columnist=neyer_rob&id=2721190

Neyer's a good writer, have a look.

"White Sox GM Kenny Williams seems to have figured all this out. He has been castigated in Chicago for trading Freddy Garcia and Brandon McCarthy for pitchers with no track records (or lousy track records) in the majors, but Williams apparently believes that if he collects enough young pitchers with potential, he'll wind up with a few cheap-but-good starters, and at the moment THERE'S NOTHING MORE VALUABLE. "

…. Wow


I heard that 20+Mil might not be bad for a top pitcher 5 years from now but I have to ask, where is the evidence that Zambrano will be pitching in 5 years, let alone still a top starter?

Ok, lets think about a couple things here… How many Power Pitchers make it 10 years in the league without at least some injury, and in turn issues? Seriously, let’s think about this a bit. I have heard Pedro and Ryan and Clemens talked about, let’s think about them…

Pedro had about 8 years before his problems started.
The Express pitched 7 seasons before starting only 28 games (40ish was avg) in 75, had 2 more solid seasons and then missed at least a couple games in half the seasons after.
TheRocket pitched 7 before missing about 4 games (21 day DL I imagine), then missed games in his 10th, 11th and 12th seasons.

Who else?
Colon had about 8 then blew out.
The Unit missed good time in his 4th and 6th seasons while missing almost his entire 8th season.
David Cone ~ problems in his 8th and 10th seasons
Gooden had problems in his 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 11th, and 13th
Mark Gubicza in 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th and hung it up
Kevin Appier in 5th, 9th, 11th and 15th
Al Leiter didn’t even have a career until age 27 because of injury
David Wells? Hehehe…
Please feel free to think of more and add to that list…

So, what are we looking at as far as Zambrano so far? About 4.5 with tons of innings & pitches right? Would YOU expect him to pitch the next 7 without at least some type of problems ~ problems he may or may not get over? So far I listed 11, including some of the greats, and not one of them got past 8 seasons completely healthy. Plus, these are the ones that lasted atleast 9 to 10 years to even be remembered! Sure, Ryan and Clemens went on to have very very long careers, but that is what percentage of power pitchers that came and went in the years they pitched?

As far as the Yanks and Mets doing something stupid to win the WS… Well, the Yankees traded away Sheffield and Johnson, let Bernie walk, tried to trade Giambi and probably A-Rod (but we don’t know for sure, do we?)… Does that team look like one that will do anything for that added Playoff Advantage? The Mets? Well, they wouldn’t go 7 to Zito who isn’t in that Power/Burnout risk conversation we had in the last paragraph… How many pitchers did they lose out on because they didn’t feel the money/years were smart moves?

So lets see, yeah maybe they would pass on so many other guys which would have put them at a huge advantage in the short series but still trade an elite prospect for 1 year worth of an injury waiting to happen with a possibility to buy ~ makes sense to me…


And this is still talking as if the Cubs will even trade him anyways, which what have they done to give any indication that they are ready to throw in the towel on 07? Again, they knew and did nothing before ~ just because we now know doesn’t mean anything is different!


Now onto leverage… IF (and that’s a big IF) the Cubs were willing to part with BigZ a year earlier than expected what is the leverage they have to get an elite prospect in return? Who all is bidding for him? You all say the Yanks and… well possibly Tex or maybe the Mets (we just saw the article which says Williams and the WhiteSox are not interested). Its not like teams would be tripping over themselves to get him so why do you think the demand would warrant the best you have? Since there are very few teams willing to part with much to rent him for a year before they can just buy him why would the return be the absolute peak? It would be bidding against yourself if you offered the best you have while no one else is bidding… IF the Cubs trade him the return would be something like what the Yanks got for Sheif ~ over-hyped long-shots for real success…

…Oh oh oh, I thought of another Power Pitcher and see this one actually made it to his 9th year before the injury bug took him. Doug Drabek pitched till 31 without missing many games! (but is he a real power pitcher? I remember he was a great motion and mechanics guy) There, that ones close though ~ almost made the 10 healthy years…

Give me a break, chase.

The Yanks have never been "run into the ground" by a bad contract. That kind of talk might float in Milwaukee, but not in the Bronx.

And the biggest threat to Mr. Cashman's continued employment is not some burdensome contract.

His biggest threat is a continued failure to deliver championships. Period.

And as long as George is in charge, winning will be the one and only measure of success -- for Cashman, for Torre, for everyone over there. "Cheap-but-good" ain't gonna cut it.

If I'm Cashman, I'm far more worried about getting fired for constructing a pitching staff that's either way too old or way to inexperienced (or both) to contend.

Another ugly playoff loss (or falling short of the postseason altogether) due to having an overmatched, inadequate pitching staff is going to put Cashman's head on the block way before trading for Zambrano ever would.

darkstar --

That whoosh you just heard was your credibility flying out the window for comparing a declining 38 year old DH coming off of an injury to a 25 year old ace starter entering his prime.

And you're an utter fool if you truly believe that there wouldn't be a line of teams "tripping over themselves" to deal for Zambrano, even if only for a year.

This exact thing happens all the time when an elite young talent approaching free agency becomes available on the trade market. The examples are numerous.

I do think you need to consider more than marginal wins during a season when talking about an Ace like Zambrano. I think you also need to look at your potential playoff success having him pitch 2 games in each series.

Take a team like the D-Backs (and I'm not saying they'd be contenders for Z), if they made it to the playoffs in 07 and had Z as one of their SP they'd be serious contenders vs first round fodder. Point is, you could say that for about 8 or 9 teams in baseball.

What's the price of a WS? (of course in AZ the cost was near bankruptcy and 5 years of extreme salary reduction)

… man some stupid people post moronic things on message boards…

(((That whoosh you just heard was your credibility flying out the window for comparing a declining 38 year old DH coming off of an injury to a 25 year old ace starter entering his prime.)))

You don’t think Sheff could help a playoff team? And you think that Zam could help soooo much desite A) He hasn’t done very good in his post-seasons starts so far and B) never pitched for the Yankees in an important game; let alone in pinstripes during the regular season and never even in the tougher AL…

But WTF anyway, you are saying "the Yankees will do anything to win the WS" and when I point things out which prove otherwise you say ‘you have no credit because you compared Sheffield to Zam’ ~ which I didnt even do!!! You’re saying “they will do anything to win”, I’m saying “if anything includes shipping off the guys who would help then win, then yes you are right” ~ learn to read fool…


(((And you're an utter fool if you truly believe that there wouldn't be a line of teams "tripping over themselves" to deal for Zambrano, even if only for a year)))

And what are those teams??? Who would be knocking down the door to waste their top prospect on a 1 year rental of a player they don’t need? Tell me ~ name 3 teams ~ and you cant have the Yanks or Mets in that because A they wouldn’t be and B you’re saying “a line of teams” so there would have to be more than just two to make a real line. Give me 3 more teams…

Besides ~ WHY DO YOU SEE THE CUBS TRADING HIM ANYWAY???

I don’t like to say things like this at all, but you sir are a jackass…

Tmar, you are correct that playoff wins could be a big plus but who is to say Zam is a good playoff starter? What are the teams trying to buy a championship at this time? ~ And yes, the Cubs (the team everyone seems to think are in firesale mode with Zam) are one of maybe 2 (the Mets being the other) that look to be trying to buy it all at this point, with the Mets being the only one doing it with smart business moves…

Plus like I said, what tells us that those few teams would be willing to part with the absolute best prospect they have just incase they make it, just incase he's a good postseason starter?

If we were talking midseason pickup then you are correct ~ we aren’t though unless the Cubs are completely out of what should be a very close NLC in 07. If Chi comes out and implodes then he will be dealt, otherwise its not likely ~ negating the postseason value he may have to another club…

I agree that it makes no sense to trade him (for the Cubs) and even less sense for the Yankees to trade Hughes for him.

The smartest thing the Cubs could do is sign him long term now and then trade him in a few years if they think he's not worth keeping at what they signed him for. Offering 7/126 doesn't mean you have to keep the guy for 7 years. You just need to trade him away at the right time.

Were I the Yankees, I'd be working on Clemens and waiting on March to make a decision on Pavano. Other than that, I'd be done for the preseason.

((("Offering 7/126 doesn't mean you have to keep the guy for 7 years. You just need to trade him away at the right time.")))

~~~ HEHEHE... Historically do you think the Cubs are the "Trade him at the right time" type?

I'm not sure there has been a worse team at this, they have always seemed to trade a guy right before he reaches better value, get a guy right before their decline or hold onto a guy too long ~ atleast from what i remember... I can think of Ramirez as being an exception but not many more ~ although I guess they also did kind of good trading away the Asian 1st baseman when they did (who for some reason I cant remember his name ATM), but they could have had Thome instead and didnt sign Jim because of said 1B so even its kinda questionable.

Darkstar --

You can't possibly be suggesting that there are fewer than three teams in all of MLB that would jump at the chance to boost their ability to contend in 2007 by adding a talent like Carlos Zambrano.

You're not really *that* foolish, are you?

Heck, there are more than three teams *in the Cubs' own division* that would love to add Zambrano for 2007: Cards, Stros, Reds, Brewers. Right now all of those teams could contend for the division, and adding Z would put any of them that much closer.

(And incidentally, one of those teams just did, in fact, deal away top prospects for a far lesser talent than Zambrano -- the Stros for Jason Jennings).

Christ, it'd be a helluva lot easier to list the teams that *wouldn't* line up for a chance to snag Zambrano.

Don't waste your time darkstar. Davearm is an idiot. He doesn't even understand that players cost money. Zambrano is gonna make $15.5 mil this year. Name one team that:

A) Has a prospect even as good as Hughes (he's third best in baseball according to many sources; Delmon Young and Alex Gordon aren't going anywhere).

2) Can afford that kind of money to pay him this year. Royals can't, Rays can't. Cardinals and Astros don't have anyone of that caliber to to deal. Reds have Bailey but can't afford 15.5 mil. Brewers have Braun but can't afford it either.

No team meets both of those criteria other than the Yankees. You don't get it my friend. If you tried to trade Zambrano the bidding would stop at Milledge and Heilman.

Give it up man. You sound like an idiot.

"I do think you need to consider more than marginal wins during a season when talking about an Ace like Zambrano. I think you also need to look at your potential playoff success having him pitch 2 games in each series."
Bingo.

A guy like Zambrano gives a top-tier team (Yanks, Mets, etc.) that's already got a good chance of making the postseason, a good chance of winning it all.

And he gives a second-tier team (pick any of about a dozen or so) that's in contention for the postseason a much greater chance of getting in. (And as we know, once you're in, anything can happen if you've got strong pitching.)

Look at what's happened in the past. Teams pay dearly (in prospects) to gain those sorts of short-term advantages that bolster their chances of winning right now.

Don't bother arguing whether they should or shouldn't. The fact is, they do, and with regularity.

Uhh, big difference in *wanting* (or 'love to add' in your words) and *willing to pay top prospect*. The Jennings deal is a borderline similarity ~ it was a "oh no, we dont have starter depth; we better do something" deal for someone they know they have an upper hand in resigning cheaper then market value. There are no teams IN NEED of Z now! It would only be a plus over what they have, it would be icing on the cake not part of the cake itself... Had the Cubs set out to trade him towards the beginning of the offseason then maybe they could have gotten better return, but at this point the teams are set on 07 and arent going to do something stupid just to do something stupid.

You have some points, they just dont relate to the situation at hand at all! Like I said, give me three teams that would want to upgrade their rotation with Zambrano for 1 year at the price of their top (or even 2nd or 3rd) prospect?

Cards ~ Don’t make dumb trades like that,
Reds ~ are not Playoff bound so 1Yr rental serves them no purpose,
Mil ~ is not a team which could afford to resign him so will stay away keeping their *more important to their gameplan* prospects
Hou ~ Already made their “we need to do something” move and aren’t about to waste more prospects on rentals. Jennings they feel has an extremely good chance to resign with the team at a lower dollar amount then he could probably get on the open market.

What teams are trying to win it all and are just one pitcher away from it who would be willing to pay that price on a rental? Like I said, the teams willing to do this are really only the CUBS and possibly the METS, but NY seems smarter than that since they didnt overpay for Zito. Your argument has absolutely no weight what so ever, A) Cubs are not trading him and B) there are no teams that need him at this point in the offseason...

"No team meets both of those criteria other than the Yankees"

LOL, the Yanks are the only team in baseball with money and good players.

Spoken like a true Yankee fan -- ignorant and arrogant all at once.

Zambrano is getting 15.5 million next year? I thought that was what he was asking for in arbitration, not actually what he was getting.

Speaking on teams that have close to Hughes caliber and money to spend there are several. Using Project Prospects top 25 i can name 5 or 6. I know their list isn't the best and the 25th player isn't Hughes but you brought up this subject so lets atleast take a look.

You say the Royals can't take on the money, but this offseason they showed they are willing to spend (Meche).

The Angels have the 5th best prospect in Wood, and we all know they are willing to take on salery.

The Tigers have the 9th and 12 best propects in Maybin and Miller, respectively. The tigers would definatly be willing to add payroll if it was for an Ace.

The Mets have the 10th and 23rd best prospects in Pelfrey and Martinez. They would LOVE to have an Ace like Zambrano.

The Dodgers have Elbert and LaRoche, the 16th and 20th. I don't know if they really need more pitching, but money isn't going to be the issue with them.

Finally, the Giants have Lincecum, who they would probably gladly part with to get Zambrano.

All this doesn't really mean much i just wanted to show that once again you are wrong. There are plenty of teams with great prospects and money to spend. Also i think the D-Rays would love to trade Young for Zambrano straight up. The D-Rays have the money they just hate spending it. With the surplus of young OFers they have Young for Zambrano would be a win win for both teams.

"Cards ~ Don’t make dumb trades like that"

Mark Mulder comes to mind. Elite prospect (Barton), young ML-ready starter (Haren), and young ML-ready reliever (Calero).

"Reds ~ are not Playoff bound so 1Yr rental serves them no purpose"

You may not think the Reds are a contender, but the team does. And look what they gave up last year for a couple relievers.

"Mil ~ is not a team which could afford to resign him so will stay away keeping their *more important to their gameplan* prospects"

New owner Mark Attanasio has committed to spending more on players, plus they gave a big contract to Ben Sheets, so money shouldn't scare them away.

"Hou ~ Already made their “we need to do something” move and aren’t about to waste more prospects on rentals."

They did it once, so they won't do it again. Sound logic there.

ripwa you spell like a third grader. "salery" and "definatly." Those aren't typos, you just don't know how to spell those words. And how the hell do the Drays have money? They have god awful attendance so where is that money coming from? And why would they spend it on Zambrano when they're gonna have to lock up Crawford and Baldelli soon. You pull SO MUCH of this out of your ass. The Giants said all four of their young pitchers are completely untouchable. You are really hilarious. Do you think they can afford payings Bonds $16 mil, Zito $18 mil and Zambrano too? You talk out of your ass. i'm done with you. You just made me realize I wasted all this time arguing with a dope.

Davearm

I didnt say they are the only team with good prospects. You've put words in my mouth this whole time. Few teams even have a prospect as good as Hughes, and most of those teams cant afford Zambrano. I find the Angels option intriguing but you have to realize that Wood isn't a true SS, he'll get moved over to third and Aramis Ramirez is there blocking him. There really aren't any other teams who you could make a legitimate claim would even be in a position to drive the price up to a Hughes caliber prospect. Anyway, I don't really care anymore. You win.

You can insult my intelligence all you want. Sorry I’m not an Econ major like you. I pull things out of my ass? Exactly what have a pulled out of my ass? The Giants and D-rays have money? Sternberg and Magowan are both extremely rich man who care a lot about baseball. They both have room to expand their payroll, and if you don't agree than maybe you don't know who these people are.

Am I wrong that their is a precedent for trading a teams top pitching prospect for an Ace? I believe I have showed from the multiple trades I listed above that their is.

Am I wrong that Hughes is not a sure thing and most pitching prospects never turn out? I didn't even have to prove that "davearm" did for me.

Am I pulling it out of my ass that teams play for this year? Well that’s obvious, and say the Yankees aren't playing for this year but playing for next, if you look at BPs top farm systems list, you will see the Yanks have the best pitching prospects in the league. Dealing one, even if it is the best would be worth it.

What exactly have I made up? Maybe I am no brilliant mind like you but I like to think of myself as a semi-knowledgeable baseball fan.

You can show all the GMs and what they are saying, but that’s not what they are doing. When talking about the White Sox you said they were building the future with young arms. Well if I’m not mistaken they trade McCarthy, there best young pitcher.

You are also insane if you think the D-Rays are going to lock up Crawford and Baldelli. Why would they ever do that when they have Dukes, Upton, and Young? Were you not the one that said teams shouldn't pay if they have cheaper prospects?

I looked at all of your posts and you keep saying the same things. You don't back anything up with a stat or proof, you just say things. So keep on saying things. Attack my intelligence while talking about yours. But still, tell me what I have "pulled out of my ass" and I will concede.


Your points just don't make sense. For example, just because an owner is rich doesn't mean the team will be willing to spend money. This is a business and the organization itself must be profitable enough through traditional revenue sources to finance that spending. Owners are in it to make money, not increase costs by 50% by signing one player.

You also keep going back to this idea that Hirsh and all these other guys are stud prospects. They aren't. He is considered a future number 3. So idk where you are getting your information on teams willingess to trade pitching prospects of Hughes caliber. Then you make these other leaps of logic. Brandon McCarthy is also considered a #2/#3. Not a number one. And the White Sox got Danks in return I believe. He is considered of the same caliber. So you keep using these things you think prove your point, but only further obscure any logical arguments you are making. I didn't mean to insult, I just can't even begin to understand your argument because it keeps getting muddled behind these things that are off topic or leaps of logic.

I think the Yankees have pretty immediate plans for Hughes (like mid-season) so I don't think there's a snowball's chance they'd dangle him for Z (maybe Santana though). I do think there are clubs that would give up damn good talent for Z if they could extend him.

I could definitely see SF or Seattle doing something extremely stupid to get him. Z would make SF a true contender from a real pretender and Seattle, well Bavasi can be had (let's leave it at that).

Ok Chase,
Spelling =/= intelligence by any means, Doctors often times can’t spell at all…

But on the other hand… you are right about them on this argument at least!


Since you other guys seem to think that every team would be bending over backwards to trade their best prospect for a 1 year rental while providing nothing which relates to the situation they are currently in, I question the intelligence in this matter big time and see it as "extreme wishful thinking" you have decided to fight for. Hes not being traded, the Cubs want to win not rebuild, but lets at each team individually if it makes you feel better...

ALE
Yankees ~ going w/ youth & avoiding big/risky contracts, plus against new game plan maybe sign after year but pointless now and only sets them back from their current ideas = NOPE
RedSox ~ no room in rotation = NOPE
BlueJays ~ They already have a MegaMillion injury-plagued/risk pitching staff hard to picture them adding to that. They could probably use an arm but chances of competing always slim in this division and Zambrano for 1 year for top prospect isn’t really in their game plane of Today and Beyond. They already signed 3 ‘lets see if they can help’ guys for rotation, they kind of have too many players at this point as well = OUTSIDE CHANCE
D-Rays ~ no money, not near playoffs and against game plan = NOPE
O’s ~ no where near playoffs so rental doesn’t help = NOPE

ALC
Twins ~ don’t have the money, against game plan = NOPE
WhiteSox ~ going with youth so against game plan = NOPE
Indians ~ Rotation full, don’t have the money & against game plan = NOPE
Tigers ~ Rotation full, he isn’t needed, they want hitting and their money will be spent elseware = NOPE
KC ~ HAHAHA… NOPE

ALW
Angels ~ going w/youth as to save money for FAs to fill holes they don’t have kids for, trading for rental player in a year they are hoping to but didn’t try to compete in is against gameplan. Possible place he lands after the year but as far as a trade = NOPE
A’s ~ No money, this is what they do not the other way around ~ NOPE
Mariners ~ would be possibility but have overspent already. If Beltre could be moved maybe, but come on… Besides, no Playoff chance so 1 yr rental worthless… = NOPE
Tex ~ could be a fit, they do need pitching and always think they can compete with their offense = MAYBE

NLE
Mets ~ Wouldn’t give Zito 7 year deal because they felt it risky, wouldn’t trade top prospects earlier in offseason despite many rumors. Want more than rental players because they have been going year to year for too long, but could use the arm and are notorious for making deals to win now = OUTSIDE CHANCE
Phillies ~ no room in rotation, already got their big SP from trade = NOPE
Braves ~ no money, need prospects to fill holes of already lost/soon to be gone players = NOPE
Marlins ~ HAHAHA = NOPE
Nats ~ maybe they would do it if closer to competing but have no one in the rotation as it stands and a questionable lineup in a powerful division. Zam wouldn’t help them = NOPE

NLC (these are all instantly pointless anyway though as the Cubs will not make a competitor better ~ ESP the CARDS!)
Stl ~ Not likely to make stupid trades like this. The Mulder trade was for 2years not 1 and he said he wanted to play there badly and would probably resign; like he did. If they wanted to overspend on pitchers they would have done so by now = NOPE
Cubs ~ YES!!! This is the kind of deal they would make in 07, but they are the team which he is supposedly being traded from in these fans eyes… :\
Mil ~ No money, if they had it they would have made more of an effort to keep Carlos Lee who would have helped the team much more than an unneeded Zambrano. Already have the NLC best rotation, it would be pointless for them ~ they need hitting! = NOPE
Cin ~ hahaha, you’re kidding right? This is a 4-5 place team depending on how good the Cubs/Astros are with little money. They might make a deal at the deadline if they are in the race but not before the season when their chances are slim to none. Last years deadline deal was only because they were surprised to be so close; but they overachieved in the first have and it showed in the second = NOPE
Pitt ~ HAHAHA = NOPE
Hou ~ Already made their ‘prospect for SP’ move to fill out rotation and got trashed in the media for it, will wait to hear from Clemens then hope they have enough to stay with their head above water if they don’t get him back. In same division anyway… = NOPE

NLW
Col ~ not near competing, trying to unload money already; doesn’t fit game plan = NOPE
Ari ~ Don’t know much about them, but do know they are not in a position to compete realistically in 07 so seems worthless = UNK to NOPE
LA ~ They are trying to unload Penny now, they have a full rotation and really need hitting not more pitching. Besides, have been bitten by too many longterm pitching deals and will work with extreme caution on deals to pitchers which could hamper the team for years or they risk major ramifications from fans jumping to the not too far away Angels. Most LA fans hate the Angels, but LA is full of phony-fans too and this is where it would hurt the most. = NOPE
SF ~ You’re kidding right? You think a SF team who needs to replace almost everyone in their lineup in the next year or two would spend prospects they need for a guy they will never re-sign? They have a 7 yr pitcher already, they wont get another and their prospects are too valuable to them at this point in time = NOPE
SD ~ no room in rotation, need hitting not pitching and doesn’t fit the current game plan of the team = NOPE


I say the Cubs are the team most likely to trade for a guy like this ~ not get rid of one!!!

Otherwise we are looking at the Rangers as a possibility, the Mets and Blue Jays as outside shots with maybe Arizona a slim possibility ~ I just hate this team and ignore anything they do so I don’t know enough about them, but they are not near the Dodgers or Padres in terms of competing and the NLE seems too strong for the WC to come out of the west again; making their chances even slimmer. I don’t think he helps them at all, esp on a rental deal…

I think I was fair on these; we really need to think of 6 things if a deal is to be made:
1) Need in rotation
2) Prospects to spare
3) Chances of competing (or in other words, BigZ actually helping them in 07)
4) Current gameplan of team (ie in ‘win now’, ‘win by spending’ or ‘prospect mode’)
5) Money, Money, Money… do they have a chance to resign him at all?
6) CUBS are trying to compete and will NEVER make the teams in their division stronger
oh, and I guess one more… 7) CUBS ARE NOT TRADING HIM! They are the team most likely to bring him in, not ship him out…

I only saif Hirsh once, and he was one of 3 players trade, one being another good prospect. I showed you tons of other examples. You will say they all are failures, but i was too lazy to look up the bad trades the other way. They are out there you find them.

You being an Econ major (i am getting my degree in business in a couple monthes, i hate to say that b/c it makes me sound like a dbag trying to show off but its really nothing) should know that the DRay and the Giants are making so much more money than they are spending. Dick Vital alone could pay for Zambrano. Honestly, this is dumb the Cubs would never do it anyways. Even if the Yanks would the Cubs would be the stickler. So fine you win the money outweights the talent. I'll probably debate with you on some other matter of Yankee importance, yea i'm a Sox fan. I need a beer ASAP.

a sox fan?!?!?

well in that case its months* and outweighs*... douche.

"Ari ~ Don’t know much about them, but do know they are not in a position to compete realistically in 07 so seems worthless = UNK to NOPE"

Perry has them as the 2nd highest NL team on his first power rankings of the season. I don't think we're quite that good, but we'd definitely be favored to make it to the playoffs if we had Z (pending on what we had to trade to get him).

The more accurate analysis on the DBacks would be "he's to much for their budget". Could we afford him "yes", would it kill the team's resources for years if he got injured "hell yes".

ahhh, thanks for the insight into that club then Tmar. Like I said, really cant stand um so... :)

Who did Perry rank them above, the Dodgers or Padres? I cant imagine them passing either up but who knows in what has turned into a wacky wacky west.

Do the Backs have the prospects to spare for a rental with option to buy (even if they cant afford him)?

our little debate might just be read by some front office personnel. Have a look.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/askba/263368.html

On the Zambrano for Hughes Trade. Baseball America decided to give it a go.

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