Chicago Notes: Konerko, Pierzynski, Zambrano

Both the Cubs and White Sox are playing out the string on 2010, but long-time stars from both clubs could be on the move this winter.  Here's an update on a few of them…

  • Paul Konerko talked to the media (including Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune) on Thursday about his pending free agency.  Konerko was non-committal about the idea of taking a hometown discount to remain in Chicago and said the White Sox have to make some organizational upgrades to match the division-winning Twins.  He was open to the idea of being a full-time DH, though he still wants to play first base.
  • Gonzales also notes that "there has been an assumption" that Konerko will go to the Angels to play for old colleague Mike Scioscia or to the Diamondbacks, as he lives in Arizona during the offseason.
  • Another pending White Sox free agent, A.J. Pierzynski, is more open to a return, writes Doug Padilla of ESPNChicago.com.  Padilla thinks Pierzynski could be brought back on a one-year, $4.5MM contract to give Chicago more time to polish Tyler Flowers in the minors, but you'd think Pierzynski could find a multi-year deal elsewhere.
  • Carlos Zambrano's red-hot second half (he's 7-0 with a 1.46 ERA in 10 post-All Star break starts) has been "the perfect showcase" to drum up a trade market for the right-hander, says CBSSports.com's Scott Miller.  As Miller points out, the Cubs' quest to deal Zambrano won't be easy given Zambrano's contract, but the team may be helped by the fact that the free agent starting market is short of ace-caliber pitchers aside from Cliff Lee.


33 Responses to Chicago Notes: Konerko, Pierzynski, Zambrano Leave a Reply

  1. mstrchef13 5 years ago

    “As Miller points out, the Cubs’ quest to deal Zambrano may be helped by the fact that the free agent starting market is short of ace-caliber pitchers aside from Cliff Lee.”

    Except that no team on the planet is willing to pay Z $17MM. If the Cubbies are going to move him, they are going to have to eat half or more of that contract.

  2. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    If they have to pay most of the contract if they trade Zambrano, I say they just keep him. Am I the only one that wonders if a lot of the problems in Chicago, including some of Zambrano’s, may have been with Pinella and they way he handled some of the players? I don’t recall any Cubs players publicly stating that they hated to see Pinella go. If the suspension and anger management time out has helped him focus on pitching, and it appears it has, why not just keep him?

    • aaron b 5 years ago

      Agreed,

      I don’t understand a plan of paying the freight to move Z. Then going out and looking to spend on another comp pitcher?

      Just keep Z and upgrade elsewhere.

      Sure he is overpaid to some extent. But he’d still get 4-48/52ish on the free agent market.

  3. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

    If they have to pay most of the contract if they trade Zambrano, I say they just keep him. Am I the only one that wonders if a lot of the problems in Chicago, including some of Zambrano’s, may have been with Pinella and they way he handled some of the players? I don’t recall any Cubs players publicly stating that they hated to see Pinella go. If the suspension and anger management time out has helped him focus on pitching, and it appears it has, why not just keep him?

  4. jwsox 5 years ago

    trading Z is a good idea eat some of his money yes, but get him out of the club house, move him somewhere that there are vets that will take him down a notch if he acts up…and give him a chance to win so he actually lifts his NTC….pay like 10mill per year of his remaining deal get some good prospects back good move for the cubs, they are not going to win anytime soon(not because a curse or anything) they just dont have the tallent..so trade him and get more prospects back and rebuild

  5. ctothed 5 years ago

    Agreed, if the second half of the season isnt enough to trade him for real quality prospects or a couple mlb ready guys then just keep him.

  6. Konerko would look good in a Rockies uni.

  7. jb226 5 years ago

    I’m not convinced that the Cubs even WANT to trade Zambrano anymore.

    The reality is, they should probably be in rebuild mode and in that sense, trading him makes sense if you can get anything in return. But all we’ve heard form the organization is how they like their young players and how they’re coming around, how they’re a handful of moves from contention, how they’d love to sign Adam Dunn if they can afford him, etc. If the organization thinks it’s going for it next year, whether that is smart or not, then trading Zambrano doesn’t make sense. Even if you got equal talent in return, which is unlikely, it’s going to be talent that is a few years off–plus a hefty bill when the Cubs inevitably pick up a large chunk of Zambrano’s remaining contract.

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      Yeah while his contract is awful, you kind of just have to hope he continues to pitch like this and keep his cool and they should be fine, even if he has a bad contract.

      But then again, you also don’t want to poison the young guys with his terrible attitude/behavior.

    • BlueCatuli 5 years ago

      Teams with that high of a payroll and a roster littered with bloated, back loaded contracts don’t go into rebuild mode.

  8. Just_MLB 5 years ago

    castillo/perez zambrano…cubs get out from under zambrano’s contract for 2012/2013. mets would get another bat in the lineup in zambrano. his pitching is just a bonus.

    • petrie000 5 years ago

      the Mets offered that, reportedly, and Hendry turned them down flat… which kinda’ proves he’s not the total moron some people make him out to be. Perez/Castillo make a combined what, 30 million next year? and neither one of them has absolutely any use on the baseball field anymore.

      Zambrano can out hit Castillo (and possibly outfield him these day), and can actually find the strike zone occasionally. The Cubs don’t need more starting pitchers and they don’t need more infielders, they’ve got multiple players in the minors that could out pitch Perez right now and you can get the same production out of and AAA infielder that you can get from Castillo.

      Sorry Mets fans, but if you want Big Z, you’re actually gonna have to trade baseball players for him.

      • Just_MLB 5 years ago

        ummm…the castillo/perez have a combined 18 million owed to them.
        zambrano ALONE makes 36 mil for 2011/2012…and if by the grace of god, he
        has a good 2012, his player option would vest, making it an additional 18
        mil bringing the total up to 54 mil.
        36/54 mil >>>>>>>>> 18 mil

        • petrie000 5 years ago

          my bad… so instead of spending 18 million on a guy who might use the year building up some sort of trade value, instead its swapping him for two players who don’t fill any position the Cubs have a need for and have no trade value?

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            …and if zambrano implodes again ?
            ur on the hook for ANOTHER 18 million in 2012.
            from the cubs perspective, its about getting out from under his contract for
            2012. perez and castillo u would only have to pay for 2011.
            and its possible u can trade castillo for help in the other areas u r
            deficient in…

          • BlueCatuli 5 years ago

            Trading for Perez and Castillo wouldn’t make any sense.

        • clark182 5 years ago

          Ummmm, for the 2013 option to vest, he has to finish 1 or 2 in Cy Young next year or in the top 4 in 2012. For either of scenarios to occur, he’d likely need 18+ wins and a sub 3 ERA. He’d need to be runner up to the likes of a Roy Hallady, Josh Johnson, Adam Waingwright, Ubaldo Jimenez or in AL Price, CC, Hernandez, Bucholz type 2010 pitching performance in 2011 and bump one of those names out in 2012. I think the Cubs or any team acquiring him would be ok with picking up his 2013 option if one of those scenarios played out.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            clark 182 – these are the wilpons we are talking about…if they find it
            difficult to pay castillo 6 mil to go away, they may find it difficult to
            pay zambrano 18 mil based on a good performance year in 2012.
            personally i just want to see zambrano…k-rod….and wally backman all on
            the same team !

          • petrie000 5 years ago

            is Castillo had any value he’d be long gone by now. Perez, honestly, has negative trade value… you’d have to give up a prospect AND assume most of his salary just to get him gone. you’re a Mets fan, you know just how bad those two are on the field.

            The Cubs are a big market team, they’re not in fire sale mode and looking to move money any way they can. as proven in both the Lilly and Lee deals they’re not just shedding money for nothing in return, they want talent as well. Sure, he could have another meltdown and next year we could be having this conversation all over again… but even then we’ll get better ‘salary dumps’ than that.

            It’s a gamble, sure, but as a Cubs fan i’d rather have one waste of a roster spot than two, because at least then i get to see some rookie give it a try.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            castillo would be gone if the mets would either eat his contract or take on
            a contract worse than his. zambrano would qualify as worse than his.

          • clark182 5 years ago

            You’ve got high standards. Top 4 in cy young voting in my eyes would mean and outstanding year. Everybody who’s in on Lee and misses will kick the tires on Zambrano. From a talent standpoint, he’s going to be the next best option for teams that don’t want to give up prospects necessary to get a Greinke or Garza.

          • Just_MLB 5 years ago

            for me, it would be fine….the fact that they are getting 20 mil a year off
            of Citibank naming rights…plus getting over 30 million in mlb.com revenue
            sharing…plus they are getting 350 K subscriptions for SNY at x amount of
            bucks a month…plus they are getting money from rev. sharing on
            merchandise…plus lord knows how much he gets from advertising on
            SNY…there is a reason why the mets were valued at 350 mil in 2003 and now
            approach 900 mill in 2010…
            thats why i cant understand why they couldnt just release dead weight like
            castillo and perez. its like watching a marathon runner walking around in
            shoes he cant fit in just cuz he paid good money for them once…u only end
            up hurting ur feet and eventually have to pay for new shoes anyway…either
            get rid of them….or dump em..like all good teams do ( aka the angels,
            twins, brewers, tigers, etc )

  9. IUO 5 years ago

    Mets and Cubs should get together make a Beltran for Zambrano, Perez for Fukudome trade. Money is almost even Cubs just have to pay some of Zambrano’s salary because Beltran has one year left and Zambrano has a couple.

  10. IUO 5 years ago

    Mets and Cubs should get together and trade Beltran for Zambrano, Perez for Fukudome. The money is close, the Cubs would have to pay some of Zambrano’s contract only ’cause Beltran is in his final year and Zambrano has a couple left. If they were to take Castillo then that would make them even, but the Cubs aren’t going to take on that much garbage.

  11. IUO 5 years ago

    Mets and Cubs should get together and trade Beltran for Zambrano, Perez for Fukudome. The money is close, the Cubs would have to pay some of Zambrano’s contract only ’cause Beltran is in his final year and Zambrano has a couple left. If they were to take Castillo then that would make them even, but the Cubs aren’t going to take on that much garbage.

  12. crashcameron 5 years ago

    soriano and zambrano
    for zito and rowand

    might need some adjustment for money and lower prospects

    do you make that if you’re the Cubs?
    Giants?

    • petrie000 5 years ago

      From the Cubs perspective : Rowan’s contract expires at the end of the year, so if it’s a straight up contract swap, yes. getting rid of Soriano frees up a ton of money long term and Zito, while expensive, has less years left.

      From the Giants Perspective : no. Roward’s coming off the books soon and you can better spend the Soriano money on a younger free-agent.

  13. clark182 5 years ago

    Forget the prospects. The Cubs are much better off with payroll flexibility. Given Z’s resurgence, I’d be surpirsed if the Cubs have to take on more than $6 million total. In free agency, you’ve got Cliff Lee and then a drop off from there. So Z will likely be compared with Kuroda, Lilly, Pavano, Vazquez, De La Rosa and Westbrook. I suspect all of those Pitchers will be looking for 3 year deals and can’t imagine any of them being more attractive than Z given the way Zs pitched lately. Z at $15 million over 2 is going to pretty attractive when you start comparing these free agents wanting 30-40 over 3 years.

  14. The_Porcupine 5 years ago

    A middling club like the Brewers, Astros, or Tigers should offer up a couple middling prospects and take him off the Cubs hands. Cubs would have to kick in some salary relief, or exchange some bad contracts (ie. Carlos Lee for Zambrano). I think his rebound in the second half is legit. No he’s not going to be uber stud pitcher like he used to be, but I can see him as an above average starter in the Brett Myers range. I could be a shrewd move by another team to take a chance on him and the risk is short term (2 years). Cubs throwing in money would make it less risky financially. But Z. would need to go somewhere that doesn’t have alot of pressure to re-activate his headcase problems. That why I think Brewers or Astros would be a good fit for him.

    Realistically, I don’t see the AStros willing to take on his salary, even at a reduced level. But I think the Brewers might be desperate enough for pitching and to win while they still have Fielder, that a Z. trade might be of interest.

    • crashcameron 5 years ago

      astros? brewers?
      i think the Cubs would prefer to move him outside the division if not outside the league
      then again i’m thinking they keep him for another year at least
      realistically, Cubs don’t have an impressive set of starters

  15. jwsox 5 years ago

    considering it said chicago rumors…and not whitesox or cubs rumors its not sneaky at all.

  16. jwsox 5 years ago

    considering it said chicago rumors…and not whitesox or cubs rumors its not sneaky at all.

  17. petrie000 5 years ago

    only if they’re getting top flight Prospects in return, and more than just one.

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