Marlins Close To Acquiring Carlos Zambrano

6:25pm: The Cubs will absorb all of Zambrano's $18MM salary less the MLB minimum, tweets Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald.

6:15pm: Chris Volstad is joining the Cubs in the deal, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). The 6'8" right-hander posted a 4.89 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 52.3% ground ball rate in 165 2/3 innings for the Marlins in 2011. His career numbers (4.59 ERA, 5.8 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 50.4% ground ball rate) show he's a steady if unspectacular back-of-the-rotation option. However, he's homer prone and struggles against left-handers, as MLBTR's Mike Axisa pointed out earlier in the offseason.

The 25-year-old former first rounder projects to earn $2.6MM through arbitration in 2012 and will remain under team control through 2014, which makes him a relatively affordable medium-term option. 

4:42pm: The 2012 Marlins are about to get a little more interesting. In case Ozzie Guillen, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Heath Bell don’t add enough intrigue to the upcoming season, the team is close to acquiring Carlos Zambrano from the Cubs, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The move would round out Miami’s rotation and provide the Cubs with the chance to part ways with a volatile but talented player who was no longer welcome in Chicago.

Zambrano would need to waive his no-trade clause for the teams to complete the deal, but he would presumably be open to playing for friend and fellow Venezuelan Ozzie Guillen. Zambrano and Guillen reportedly discussed the possibility after the 2011 season.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein had a productive meeting with Zambrano after the season, but the right-hander hasn't seemed wanted in Chicago for a while. The Cubs placed Zambrano on the disqualified list last summer following an August outburst and declined to play him in September, after his 30-day suspension ended.

The deal would give the Marlins a projected rotation of Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, Ricky Nolasco and Zambrano. The deal would presumably take the Marlins out of the running for another Cubs starter: right-hander Matt Garza.

It's not yet clear how the Cubs and Marlins would split Zambrano's salary. He will earn $18MM in 2012 and his contract includes an option for 2013 that could vest depending on his health and performance in 2012. He needs to finish in the top four in next year's Cy Young vote and finish the season healthy for the option to vest. The Cubs will take on much of Zambrano's salary and are "not expecting to receive much back in the way of prospects," David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com writes.

Zambrano, 30, posted a 4.82 ERA with 6.2 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 42.4% ground ball rate in 145 2/3 innings for the Cubs in 2011. He has spent his entire 11-year career with the Cubs and earned nearly $100MM in the process. Zambrano, a three-time Silver Slugger, owns a .241/.251/.395 career line as a hitter and has hit 23 home runs. The Cubs signed him out of Venezuela in 1997 under former GM Ed Lynch.

The Marlins have a full 40-man roster and would have to clear space for Zambrano unless they're sending a player from their 40-man to Chicago.

This post was originally published on January 4th.


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248 Comments on "Marlins Close To Acquiring Carlos Zambrano"


Triple Hawpes Brewed
3 years 7 months ago

They want a matching headcase for Hanley and Guillen, or what?

55saveslives
3 years 7 months ago

Imagine the dugout after Hanley lollygags after a grounder with Zambrano on the mound!

Becky Lee
3 years 7 months ago

I feel sorry for Marlin fans, wow I wouldn’t want that headcase on my team

bravesdude
3 years 7 months ago

They may want to consider hiring Michael Buffer as well to be the in locker announcer . “LEETTTT’SSS get ready to rumblleee .”

3 years 7 months ago

haha

EdinsonPickle
3 years 7 months ago

The hell you say.

3 years 7 months ago

BOUT TIME!!

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 7 months ago

Ugh. I’d rather sign Joe Saunders. All water coolers in the Miami Area should now be on HIGH alert.

mmiller54
3 years 7 months ago

Believe me u don’t want Saunders. He was incredibly lucky this year. I watched him a lot as a Dbacks fan. There was rarely a clean inning. He had 30 double plays turned behind him, many of which saved runs. You can’t replicate that, especially since the Dbacks middle infield was pretty good.

Mikey Roederer
3 years 7 months ago

If any other pitcher did that, everyone would praise his groundball percentage..While granted having a runner on is his fault, getting the groundball is also his responsibility at that point..which obviously he did 30x

3 years 7 months ago

Joe Saunders is a fly ball pitcher though, that’s the problem.

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 7 months ago

So you’d rather have Big Z over Saunders? I know I wouldn’t.

Mikey Roederer
3 years 7 months ago

edit….
I very much would want Saunders at this point…I was arguing that Saunders isn’t as bad as Matt said he was because of the double play ratio..Miami will also have a good middle infield so Saunders would be a smart choice

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 7 months ago

Amen lol.

Jarret Schneider
3 years 7 months ago

You would say that

yabud
3 years 7 months ago

I guess the Marlins are taking a swing at anything available. Hype up that shiny new toy Mr. Loria.

Snoochies8
3 years 7 months ago

Probably not a good idea, imagine all the tempers flaring up between lomo, hanley, zambrano AND ozzie…sheesh

and then there’s also the fact that he just isn’t as good as he used to be

tdot32
3 years 7 months ago

he’s only fallen off last season, so it’s not like he can’t bounce back is he can work out his behavior issues.

David C. Ruckman
3 years 7 months ago

Zambrano had bad tendencies on the mound and off it dating back to 2007, which is ironically the last year he pitched 200+ innings.

In 2006 and 2007, I think, he led all MLB starters in walks issued. Heck, even last year, he had an ERA north of 5.00 heading into August before a ludicrous September/October dropped his ERA to 3.33. And if you recall, he posted the worst BB/SO ratio of his career – something like 69/117.

Characterizing 2011 as the beginning of Zambrano’s “falling off” trend is shortsighted, if you ask me.

tdot32
3 years 7 months ago

last year was the first year Zabrano’s rookie season where his WAR fell under 2, so it’s a bit more of a drop than his usual production level.

East Coast Bias
3 years 7 months ago

WHAT?!

MB923
3 years 7 months ago

He said the same thing.

imachainsaw
3 years 7 months ago

woah

dbreer23
3 years 7 months ago

Yes, Mr. Michaels…I do believe in miracles!

ukJaysfan
3 years 7 months ago

Zambrano and Guillen…should be fun.

3 years 7 months ago

Hanley, and LoMo too. Should be fun.

Chad Kreuter's Hat
3 years 7 months ago

who would the cubs get back? could lomo be involved?  seems like the last i heard he was on the outs with sampson regarding twitter.

3 years 7 months ago

I really hope the Cubs eat a large chunk of his salary…..

JacksTigers
3 years 7 months ago

Depending on the rest of the players involved, I like this move for the Marlins.

3 years 7 months ago

The question is how much payroll will they be taking, if it’s very little, and they don’t give a descent prospect, this could be a descent move for a team with little veteran pitching.

Joey Doughnuts
3 years 7 months ago

That is going to be one EXPLOSIVE locker room. Oh boy. 

Joey Doughnuts
3 years 7 months ago

Is the clubhouse even big enough to fit all those heads?

OptimisticMarlinsFan
3 years 7 months ago

If it was a problem I’m sure they’d just ask the Yankees or the Red Sox where they got theirs.

Joey Doughnuts
3 years 7 months ago

Oh I don’t know about that. I think the Marlins may lead the league in character issues in 2012.

Blue387
3 years 7 months ago

The stadium has a retractable roof, no?

bravesdude
3 years 7 months ago

LOL . They are gonna need it .

Triple Hawpes Brewed
3 years 7 months ago

“Acquire” Zambrano? As if he’s an asset? HAH! More like “Cubs dump headcase on only team dumb enough to oblige.” You MLBTR guys are wayy too PC.

StanleyPujols
3 years 7 months ago

hahahaha…..exactly!!!!

bravesdude
3 years 7 months ago

Totally agree .

tomymogo
3 years 7 months ago

good luck…lol

bravesdude
3 years 7 months ago

As a Braves fan , I would love to see him in Florida . But if he throws at Chipper again this year , the gloves are coming OFF !!

JacksTigers
3 years 7 months ago

Bravesdude vs. Zambrano. Yeah, good luck with that.

soundpilot
3 years 7 months ago

And Chicago’s return from Miami is (1) StrikePro Plus Pitching Machine and a case of Old Style.

All hail Theo

Karkat
3 years 7 months ago

Why though.

EDIT: Wow, the Cubs are getting pretty screwed. Then again, Theo never had a problem dumping the entirety of huge contracts just to get rid of annoying players.