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As I predicted yesterday, Cliff Lee going to the Phillies is going to be the genesis of a great deal of action – and a great deal of gum-flappin’. Specifically, it has generated speculation about the Cubs once again trying to trade Carlos Zambrano.

The big question that remains to be answered is whether Texas, the Yankees or Angels will come looking for a starter like the Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano after Garza is traded. At this point, the Cubs are not expecting to trade Zambrano, and they’re not entertaining offers. He’s expected to be at the top of their rotation, along with Ryan Dempster and possibly Garza.

If not, the old rumors about Zambrano being moved are likely to resurface. First of all, Zambrano has 5-10 veto rights on any possible trade. That means the team must come to him before any deal is made and ask for permission. Zambrano has been adamant about not being moved.

“I want to stay in Chicago and help the Cubs win a World Series,” he told ESPNChicago.com at the end of the 2010 season.

Sources close to Zambrano said his commitment to his family, which includes having his daughters go to a private school in Chicago, is an even stronger motivating factor. ESPN Chicago.

While I’ve heard that the Cubs would not mind moving Zambrano, there has been no indication since late in the 2010 season that Zambrano would accept a trade. He’s happy in Chicago, and is committed to winning with the Cubs.

Of course, if they come to him with a trade, maybe that commitment will waiver. Nevertheless, I don’t expect a whole lot to happen on this front – other than the aforementioned gum-flappin’. And, yes, I’ll probably do some of it, too.

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