The Trade Zambrano meme is going to keep popping up this offseason, not matter how unrealistic or how crappy an idea it is.

And now, a leading Chicago sports writer is banging the drum for Zambrano’s exit. Why is this newsworthy? Because it isn’t Paul Sullivan. It’s Gordon Wittenmyer.

Yeah, [Zambrano] has a no-trade clause. Yeah, he doesn’t want to leave and the Cubs don’t plan to shop him. But for all his talent and hefty price, Carlos Zambrano did nothing to make the 2009 pitching staff better, and he was no better than the third-best pitcher on the staff by the end of the 97-victory season in 2008. If he puts up yet another don’t-give-a-damn season in 2010, your ability to move him goes into the tank. And for the right destination, he might waive the clause. CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.

I’m not going to vociferously argue (again) that Zambrano is one of the best pitchers in the National League – though I will note that in 2008, he had the second best ERA+ among the Cubs starters.

I will simply ask whether Cubs fans are ready to start the season with a rotation that goes:

1. Lilly

2. Dempster

3. Wells

4. ?

5. ?

  • Aisle 424

    The only rationale in trading Zambrano would be to bring in young talent to stock the farm system and THEN have the salary to sign someone like Halladay to replace him. The problem is the market for Zambrano is already down, so his return value won’t really stock the farm system with much besides more AAAA players.

    • Ace

      Depends on salary, too. If the Cubs ate enough of his salary (which they would not HAVE to do in order to trade him), they could get solid prospects back. But then you’re just buying prospects at that point. Of course, maybe that’s not a terrible thing.

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