If the Chicago Cubs decide to shop starter Carlos Zambrano this winter, they’ll surely find more interested partners than they would have mid-season. Still, the team cannot expect a lucrative return given Zambrano’s temperamental, yo-yo-esque nature, and his hefty contract. Thus, if a move is to be made, it would have to be for another unwanted contract.
Say, for example…
One potential trading partner for the Cubs if they decide to shop Carlos Zambrano — the Red Sox, possibly for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is owed only $10 million for each of the next two seasons. Chicago Tribune.
Matsuzaka, the subject of a ridiculous amount of media attention upon his arrival in the States, has had a tumultuous time in Boston in a way largely different from the way Zambrano has, himself, had a tumultuous time in Chicago. He was good in his first year in 2007, and then excellent in 2008. But injuries, demotions, six-man rotations, and control issues have plagued his previous two season. He managed a 4.69 ERA in just over 150 innings this season, good for a 93 ERA+.
Thus, you won’t be surprised to learn that such a deal would be solely about saving money – Matsuzaka is owed just $10 million per season over his next two seasons, unlike Zambrano, who is owed about $18 million per over the same stretch. Despite Zambrano’s excellent finish to the 2010 season, the Cubs would have to think about making this kind of deal straight up, if it were made available – the move might allow the Cubs to go after a marquee free agent starter like Cliff Lee.
That said, Zambrano, who holds a full no-trade clause, has said recently that he would invoke the clause to remain in Chicago.