Despite recent reports that the Yankees have been scouting long-time Cub Carlos Zambrano, ESPN's Wallace Matthews spoke to a source who called the rumors "B.S." and said that the Yankees have "zero interest" in acquiring the fiery right-hander.
Matthews' source cites Zambrano's declining fastball velocity (he's checking in at 89.8mph this year) as well as his large contract over the next few seasons:
"He's just not worth the money," the official said. "The Cubs would have to pick up most if not all of the contract. I just don't see it happening."
Zambrano is being paid $17.875MM in 2011, $18MM in 2012, and has a $19.5MM vesting option for 2013, though he would need serious Cy Young consideration over the next two years (Top 2 in 2011 or Top 4 in 2012) plus a clean bill of health at the end of the 2012 season for it to vest. Earlier today we learned that the Yankees prefer rental players and left-handed pitchers, neither of which applies to Zambrano.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi both declined to comment on any potential interest in Zambrano, while pitching coach Larry Rothschild, who spent nine years as a pitching coach for the Cubs, praised Big Z as a person:
"He's a good person," Rothschild said. "Off the field, he's a great family man, he was a good guy to coach, he'll listen (to) all the things you would expect from a professional player. The stuff you see on the field is a result of just the passion he takes to the mound."
Zambrano said earlier this week that he would waive his no-trade clause if the Cubs approached him about a potential deal, but for the time being, it doesn't sound like he'll end up in Yankee pinstripes should that occur.