Phil Rogers has an idea – if the Cubs can’t come to an agreement with Carlos Zambrano, they should trade him. And sooner rather than later. Personally, I don’t buy into the Bobby Abreu theory – that the Phils were inspired to play better because they traded him for peanuts. He’d look mighty fine in the Phillies’ lineup this year, and I think Ryan Howard would’ve had the same insane second half with or without him. Then again, I wasn’t in the Phillies’ clubhouse last summer so who knows. But I digress.
Rogers thinks Z will get his five or six-year deal from the Cubs. But he speculates on several possible return packages. Ervin Santana, Wood/Aybar, and Adenhart/Mathis from the Angels. Pavano and Sanchez/Clippard from New York. Pelfrey/Humber, Heilman, and Martinez/Gomez from the Mets.
Given the deals for Jason Jennings and Adam Eaton, Zambrano would certainly command one top-flight young pitcher (Chris Young, Jason Hirsh). He would also require a second promising but imperfect young position player (Adrian Gonzalez, Willy Taveras). Then there’d be at least one more wild card piece (Akinori Otsuka, Taylor Buchholz).
So a Santana/Aybar/Mathis package seems fair. I’m sure some other clubs could assemble something comparable. In the Mets’ case, Rogers’ selection of players seems too much. Then again, one season of Zambrano is clearly superior to one of Jennings or Eaton.