Cubs GM Says Zambrano Will Stay

Cubs GM Jim Hendry says that Carlos Zambrano will remain with the club next season, writes Carrie Muskat of  Even though the hurler said earlier this year that he would waive his no-trade clause, Hendry says that he never anticipated dealing him.

"I've never assumed that he really wanted to go," the GM said Sunday. "He earned the contract that he got. I've always assumed that he will be pitching for the Cubs. I'm glad he's righted the ship and had a really good end."

Even if Zambrano doesn't change zip codes in 2011, several Cubs could as the club may look to trim payroll.  Hendry has yet to meet with owner Tom Ricketts about 2011's budget but the GM says that he expects it to be lower than this year.  The Cubs owned the highest payroll in the National League this season.

Tightening the belt could mean that the Cubs won't be able to land a major free agent such as Adam Dunn, which Zambrano suggested that they do earlier today.  Hendry refused to comment on Big Z's suggestion, citing tampering rules.

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7 Comments on "Cubs GM Says Zambrano Will Stay"

4 years 10 months ago

I don’t think Z is as difficult to trade as others might think. He’s basically owed 2/36 mil as I don’t think his 2013 option will vest. This offseason doesn’t offer a lot of great Sp options on the open market. After Cliff Lee you have…

Carl Pavano (Opening day age @ 35) who will probably snooker some team out of a 2 or 3 year deal at $8 to $10 mil annualy.

Jorge De La Rosa (OP @ 30), Bronson Arroyo (OP @ 34), Ted Lilly (OP @ 35), Hiroki Kuroda (OP @ 36) and Jake Westbrook (OP @ 33) represent the best of what’s left after Lee. None of them will probably get contracts greater than 2 years or $15 to $20 mil but none of them are front of rotation type of guys. Zambrano is still of that caliber.

Of his 20 starts this year his record was impressive @ 11-5 w/ a 3.19 ERA and 8/k per 9 and 8/H per 9 IP. His walk rate was high at 5/BB per 9 and that might hurt him but he kept the ball in the park with a low 1:18 HR per IP ratio. He has age on his side as his opening day age is only 29. Other than the need to control his temper the only other legitimate concern I have is that his velocity on his FB was at a career low 90.2 mph. He has a little more gumption than Javier Vazquez but you have to wonder how he would compete outside of the NL.

Still I can see a few trade scenarios where a good trade can be worked out.

2B Carlos Guillen (1/$13 mil), SP Andres Gallaraga ($400k) for Zambrano (2/$36 mil) and $10 mil cash.

Tigers add a net total of $13 mil spread over the next 2 years. The Cubs shed $13 mil and pick up a 2B and SP. Tigers add a solid mid rotation arm to go along withh Verlander to make a solid 1-2 punch ahead of youngsters Porcello and Scherzer.

4 years 10 months ago

Cubs have a second basemen that is cheaper and plenty of pitchers comparable to Gallaraga that make that amount. I don’t see how the Cubs benefit from that at all except shedding cash. Aside from that, Zambrano has been adamant about enforcing his full no trade clause.

4 years 10 months ago

I’d love to see Zambrano start yelling at Miggy Cab for not diving at groundballs 15 feet away from him

4 years 10 months ago

Hopefully this is Hendry being smart for once and not backing himself in a corner by saying Zambrano will be traded and thus being better able to maximize the return for Zambrano in either dollars the Cubs don’t have to eat or prospects.

Unfortunately I don’t think it is Hendry being smart and he means what he says. Yep, he’s pitched extremely well in zero pressure situations. Just wait until the pressure is on and somebody makes an error in a key situation, he’ll revert right back to his old self. Good luck on that one.

4 years 10 months ago

Well, considering he has a 1.41 ERA in 11 starts since returning to the rotation, I imagine a lot of teams would if the Cubs paid a decent-sized chunk of his salary.

4 years 10 months ago

Yeah, with how well he’s been since the all star break I’d love to take him if the Cubs chipped in enough money.

4 years 10 months ago

Ah, been seeing too many people bashing him because they don’t realize he’s turned the season around big time.