Cubs Make Carlos Zambrano Available

The Cubs have made it clear to other teams that Carlos Zambrano is available, according to's Buster Olney (via Twitter). If you thought Roy Oswalt and Dan Haren had a lot remaining on their contracts, take a look at what the Cubs owe Big Z: he'll earn $6.8MM this year, $17.9MM next year, $18MM in 2012 and, possibly, a $19.25MM vesting option in 2013.

Zambrano will make at least $42.7MM more before his contract expires, and he hasn't been pitching like an ace. As usual, the big right-hander is getting lots of strikeouts (8.6 K/9) and allowing lots of walks (4.0 BB/9), but his ERA is 5.66 in 2010. Zambrano is now working his way through anger issues and back to the majors. He recently apologized for the dugout tirade that landed him on the restricted list.

Given teams' reluctance to take on payroll, the Cubs would have to absorb part of the contract in any deal. It seems far more likely that the team will hold onto Zambrano for now, since he makes so much money and has not impressed at the major league level this season.

62 Responses to Cubs Make Carlos Zambrano Available Leave a Reply

  1. TheReturnOfMrBlanks 5 years ago

    Like the kid napper said in the movie – Taken “Good Luck”

    • I hear what you’re saying and I agree. But given that said kidnapper ended up electrocuted via knitting needles in his thighs by the guy he was dismissive toward, it may not be the best example.

    • studio179 5 years ago

      “Like the kid napper said in the movie – Taken “Good Luck”

      Z has aquired a special set of skills. If you dive for ground balls for him, that’s where it ends. If you do not dive for ground balls…he WILL find you…he WILL yell at you…

  2. Infield Fly 5 years ago

    While the guy’s got stuff, he’s got even more problems. Still, he may be worth a shot – if he comes with unlimited Gatorade machine replacements.

    • nansteez1984 5 years ago

      maybe ned can team him up w/ vicente padilla in LA and have the cubs throw in some passes to a shooting range.

      • The_Silver_Stacker 5 years ago

        yikes while at it, they should trade for milton bradley

  3. Rock M 5 years ago

    Giants should trade Rowand for Zambrano.Perfect deal.Cubs eat a little of the salary and it a win win for both teams

  4. Bob George 5 years ago

    The Cubs are currently angry that Z apologized before they were ready for him to apologize. I’m a Cubs fan and this is a horribly run team. Hendry should have been fired ages ago.

  5. phenomenal simile

  6. MrBoomBoom 5 years ago

    that was a waste of money from the get-go….the kid’s a effin’ whack-job, ticking time bomb. Anybody who believes he’s changed his ways is drug addicted.

  7. whitesox trade hudson/flowers to the nats for dunn

    whitesox trade a bag of balls to cubs for zambrano….

  8. Travis_Lee 5 years ago

    Even if he was pitching well, teams would be reluctant to take on that salary. With his poor performance and anger issues, I don’t think anybody can see Zman moving any time soon.

  9. sportsdanny1979 5 years ago

    This should not come as a shock…Why wouldn’t they make him available?

  10. bjsguess 5 years ago

    The question has never been “if” the Cubs would have to eat any money but “how much” of that contract will remain on their balance sheet. This is true regardless of how well Big-Z pitched this year. Injuries, disciplinary actions, a NTC, and an outrageous contract make him one of the worst deals in baseball.

    ** Thanks for catching my type daze

    • daze 5 years ago

      if the question is “who much”, then it doesn’t make much sense.

    • LowcountryJoe 5 years ago

      >>and an outrageous contract make him one of the worst deals in baseball.<<

      It's the worst contract so far. Wait a few more years and we'll see what the Yankees have on their hands.

      link to

      A-Rod making $20M in 2017? A.J. Burnett making $16.5M each year until the end of the 2013 season [this one looks bad already]. And what if C.C. and Tex begin declining during their contracts?

  11. sportsdanny1979 5 years ago

    Hey Mary L-
    As a Cubs fan…If the Soxs want him…they can HAVE HIM

  12. oremlk 5 years ago

    Good luck with that!

  13. JohnOrpheus 5 years ago

    Cards trade Allen Craig or Jon Jay, etc. and Cubs pay about 75% of Zambrano’s salary. Get it done Mo. I think Big Z would rebound nicely in St. Louis, and apparently he is good friends with Albert.

    • Isnt he buddies with Yadi too?

    • johnsilver 5 years ago

      Yeah, i like that. Zambrano can teach Dave Duncan a thing or 2 in St. Louis. You think he could also get LaRussa to show some emotion in the dugout as well on occasion?

    • chaifetz10 5 years ago

      I’d rather hang on to the young guys (especially Jay). Now if it was Aaron Miles for Zambrano and 75%… your talking.

  14. Tim Valencia 5 years ago

    just cus a 45 year old bald fat alcoholic unemployed virgin finally declares he is available doesnt mean anyone is gonna want him. But at least they are trying

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      You forgot that he’s living in his parents basement, next to the washer and dryer.

  15. HighHeat 5 years ago

    I’m a Tigers fan and they need pitching, yet I’d pass on him.

  16. bulldurham08 5 years ago

    lol, 42.7M left on his contract hahahhahahha

  17. roberty 5 years ago

    Cubs make Zambrano available…. This article is really stating the obvious. Of course Hendry wants to get rid of Zambrano. He makes a ton of money and he can’t even keep a spot in a crappy rotation like the Cubs. Do they mean they’re willing to eat his entire contract in exchange for a bag of balls? If that’s the case there might be a little interest.

    Hendry could possibly swap Zambrano for an equally bad contract, but I think the only team carying contracts that bad is….the Chicago Cubs. Maybe he could trade Zambrano for Fukudome and Soriano. I hear their GM is an idiot.

    • Lets not forget Oliver Perez now…although I guess your right, Ollie’s isnt 42 mill hahahah ughh I feel bad for cubs fans.

      • icedrake523 5 years ago

        I’d give up Oliver Perez for him in a heartbeat. Zambrano at least has talent.

        • roberty 5 years ago

          As a Braves fan, I would LOVE to see Zambrano on the Met’s. He would look great in that uniform.

          • icedrake523 5 years ago

            As a Met fan, I’m looking forward to seeing Billy Wagner fall apart in August and September as he always does 😛

          • johnsilver 5 years ago

            Wagner was pretty outstanding in setup role for Boston last September. Maybe with Saito as a backup closer, they can rotate back and forth if he has trouble and he’s not the only guy in Atlanta like last year in Boston when they had a combo of Papelbon,Bard and Saito with him carrying the load.

          • icedrake523 5 years ago

            Wagner pitched in only 17 games last year. He was horrible in the 2006 playoffs. He was awful in the 2nd half of 2007 and was plagued with back problems the last few weeks. He only pitched in 7 games in the 2nd half of 2008 before he blew out his arm.

        • His talent is being an a hole. I would not want either one on my team.

  18. For some reason the image of Zambrano working behind the counter in a New York City McDonalds, flippin out at customers comes to my mind.

  19. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    What’s the internet equivalent of a tumbleweed?

  20. jeffdg 5 years ago

    Vernon Wells?

    • roberty 5 years ago

      Good point. Vernon Wells is owed about $100 million over the next 4 years…..Mind boggling. The Cubs could have the most expensive outfield in baseball history!!! $60.1 million in 2011 for Soriano, Fukudome and Vernon Wells. I kind of hope it happens.

      • baseball52 5 years ago

        So we can sit the good players, Colvin, Byrd, and Jackson?

  21. Say what you want about Hendry, but everyone was claiming last year that Milton Bradley was immovable.

    Bradley has kept pace with his performance last year while Carlos Silva has dazzled.

    Let’s see if Hendry has anymore tricks up his sleeve.

    • roberty 5 years ago

      Milton Bradley wasn’t owed nearly as much money as Zambrano, and he was also good a lot more recently than Zambrano. And he is at least in shape.

    • ronny9 5 years ago

      HAHA; have you seen Silva the last few times out?

      in two starts in a row he had a TOTAL of 2.1 IP 13 hits 5 walks 11 earned runs. and one of those was against the Astros. I wouldn’t call that dazzling. He ‘rebounded’ last time out with a very economical start (throwing 90 pitches) in 5IP giving up 1ER

      Overall; he’s doing better than they expected, but i wouldnt call it dazzling by any means.

      I also wouldn’t say that Hendry had a ‘trick up his sleeve’ when he made that trade. He was dumb enough to sign Bradley to a multi-year deal in the first place. He was lucky to find anyone that would give him anything for Bradley, and what he got was Carlos Silva. not even close to a trick up anyones sleeve.

  22. Raul Ibanez for Z straight up

    • ugen64 5 years ago

      seriously? I think the Cubs take that in a heartbeat. at least Ibanez’s contract runs out after this season… it would be worth it even if he sat on the bench every day for the rest of the season.

  23. barbarino2000 5 years ago

    To pay him that much means he must be a STAR pitcher. Yet, Lou kept putting him in to pinch hit, when …

    (a) they have regular players on the bench that are paid to do that, and

    (b) ever since pinch-hitting became his part-time job, he’s sucked at it.

    This sums-up how the Cubs have been run and managed. The inmates run the asylum. The Cubs need a manager who is IN CHARGE. Lou has not been that guy. Dusty wasn’t that guy.

    Get a guy like Girardi or Sandberg who doesn’t take crap, some hungry young players, and watch the whole environment change. The air has been soooo negative at Wrigley for the past 6 years, because of guys like Big Z, Milton Bradley, etc.

  24. windycitywarrior 5 years ago

    As a White Sox fan I would be curious as to what it would take to get him. I don’t believe for a minute that Z wouldn’t be in held in check by Ozzie, Kenny, Joey Cora and Don Cooper. That doesn’t even scare me. If he gets too wackadoo where you cannot control him then just release him and move on. I just don’t believe with his and Ozzie’s relationship that he would go all ballistic on the Sox. I would be interested in the dynamic of the trade to see what it would take.

    • Wrek305 5 years ago

      Zambrano and his entire contract to the White Sox for a XLarge Thin Crust Pizza from Chicago Pizza and an 8 pack of Vienna Beef Hot dogs.. straight up…

    • Wrek305 5 years ago

      Zambrano and his entire contract to the White Sox for a XLarge Thin Crust Pizza from Chicago Pizza and an 8 pack of Vienna Beef Hot dogs.. straight up…

  25. an injured Peavy for Zambrano? Contracts are about the same $. Ozzie loves Z.

    • jb226 5 years ago

      I’ve often wondered about that myself. I think the Cubs do it in a second, just to be rid of Zambrano. Good or bad, Hendry doesn’t like keeping people around if they go off on or are otherwise poor teammates. (See: Michael Barrett, Milton Bradley, Sammy Sosa, Will Ohman. I think Zambrano is the only one who survived it, and he’s already used up his do-over.)

      It’s an interesting idea for both teams. It’s essentially trading injury/recovery risk for performance risk. Which would you rather have? Does it matter that the Sox think highly of their pitching coach?

  26. Wrek305 5 years ago

    Back up the truck by his contract out for no more then 5mil and send him home… anger management problems or not no team is dumb enough to take him..

  27. studio179 5 years ago

    Another year, another big, bad contract to move. GMs must see Hendry’s number calling and roll there eyes as if to say ‘not another one, Jim’.

  28. Another post says that the Mets are allegedly looking for an overpriced pitcher who has had a bad season whom they could get for minimal loss of prospects. Big Z seems to fit the billing. Personally, I’d hang on to him and see if things get any better. New manager next year, and they’ll have to pay so much to get rid of him now, it’ll make little difference if he doesn’t turn around and we just outright release him next year.

    I don’t think Z will ever be an Ace, or even up to his previous best, but I expect him to be a sub-4.00 ERA guy over the next few years. Maybe barely sub-4.00, but its not bad considering the miniscule savings we would get by dumping him to someone else while eating mad salary dollars.

  29. baseball52 5 years ago

    If it’s anything thing more than a Meijer bag with a waterlogged ball in it, we ripped you off.

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