Olney’s Latest: Zambrano, Starting Pitchers, Indians

In today's blog post at ESPN (Insider req'd), Buster Olney writes about how Diamondbacks' manager A.J. Hinch went against the grain by leaving Edwin Jackson in to throw 149 pitches as he no-hit the Rays last night. One unnamed manager blamed the media for the pitch count craze, but I want to add that much of it has to do with teams protecting investments. With the rise of salaries throughout the game even from just ten years ago, teams don't want to unnecessarily put a pitcher in the line of danger, so to speak. 

Here are the rest of Olney's rumors…

  • The Cubs may wish they could get rid of Carlos Zambrano following his latest tirade, but Olney points out that there's still $45MM left on his contract. Chicago would have to eat a huge chunk of that money to unload him.
  • The trade market doesn't figure to be very robust this summer because there just isn't a lot of money available around the league. The starting pitching market probably won't budge until Cliff Lee is dealt, at which point second tier fodder like Ben Sheets and Kevin Millwood would draw more attention.
  • The Indians' two most marketable players are Austin Kearns and Russell Branyan because neither is making big money. Kearns is owed approximately $417K the rest of the season, Branyan $1.11MM, and both will become free agents as season's end.

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