Carlos Zambrano's move to the Cubs' bullpen likely ranks as baseball's most surprising roster decision so far this season. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports opines that the only way out of this "desperation" move for the North Siders is to pull off a trade for a setup man.
Rosenthal suggests that dealing Tom Gorzelanny could kill two birds with one stone for the Cubs: It would clear a spot in the rotation for Zambrano, and the team could potentially acquire a setup man in exchange for the left-hander, who is under club control through 2012.
Despite recording a 5.55 ERA in 47 innings in 2009, Gorzelanny had strong peripherals, including rates of 9.0 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9. The 27-year-old is off to a solid start this year, with a 2.40 ERA through three outings, and could interest some teams who don't possess the same excess of left-handed arms as Chicago. The Cubs' left-heavy bullpen, which features John Grabow, Sean Marshall, and James Russell, was one reason Gorzelanny remained in the rotation over Zambrano.
As Rosenthal notes, Gorzelanny and Carlos Silva "hardly are locks to continue their early-season success," meaning Zambrano may eventually work his way back into the rotation with or without a trade. Rosenthal also names Andrew Cashner and Jay Jackson as two minor leaguers who could contribute to the Cubs' staff this year, if the team decides not to make a deal. For now, expect the Cubs to give the Zambrano experiment some time. If it doesn't work out like they're hoping, we should expect to hear trade rumblings grow louder.