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Moments ago, the official Twitter for Major League Baseball said this:

BREAKING: Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano will remain at home and away from team for remainder of 2011 season.

Details are scant at this point, but, because the grievance process was running its course – with the Players’ Association on one side, and MLB on the other – it’s possible this means the Cubs have won the right to prohibit Zambrano from returning to the team (nah – see UPDATE below). Recall, the Cubs placed Zambrano on the disqualified list (30 days, without pay) after he left the team last month in Atlanta.

It’s also possible that this isn’t really big news, as Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts has already said he has a hard time believing Zambrano will pitch for the Cubs again. Although his stint on the disqualified list would end in mid-September, the Cubs could send him down on a rehab assignment until the season ends, before ultimately dumping him in the offseason.

I imagine there will be more on this soon.

UPDATE: So here’s how it’s going down. The Cubs, MLB, and the Players’ Association have decided not to hold Zambrano’s greivance hearing until the offseason. For that reason, the Cubs decided Z would not have enough preparation time to be ready to pitch in mid-September when his time on the disqualified list is up. So, the Cubs announced that Z will not pitch with the team again this year. Once his time on the DQ list is up, the Cubs will resume paying his salary.

Here’s the full press release:

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today provided the following update to the Carlos Zambrano grievance process, which is not yet resolved.

Carlos Zambrano will remain at home for the remainder of the 2011 baseball season and the Cubs will resume paying Zambrano his salary at the end of the 30-day suspension. The suspension is scheduled to run through Sunday, September 11, leaving insufficient preparation time for Zambrano to pitch again this season.

Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and the Cubs will process the Union’s grievance during the offseason.

Since the grievance remains unresolved, the Cubs will not comment further at this time.

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    Good riddance, bye bye

  • Butcher

    It’s hard to get my mind wrapped around how much ass our rotation is going to suck in 2012.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Probably.

      But it’s early.

    • ari gold

      I don’t think our rotation will be too bad IF (and it’s a big if), Cashner can give us 140 innings of good pitching. Then we have Garza #1, Cashner #2, Dempster #3 (he’s pitching very well since April), Wells #4 or #5. We won’t be nearly as bad as this year. There’s my glass have full approach.

      • ReiCow

        I agree with ari.. we might get lucky and find someone / acquire a good someone.. and if what we says holds, I like the rotation.

      • JulioZuleta

        If we are counting on Cashner to be our number 2, a guy with all of 1 major league starts to his name, we are in bigggg trouble. I like him, but a decent team would have him as a five, four at the highest.

        • Internet Random

          Roger Clemens had zero Major League starts the first time he started a game.

          Cashner probably won’t ever be Clemens, but his lack of starts is not the problem.

          • JulioZuleta

            I’m not saying he won’t be good, I’m saying that a decent team would not have a guy who has never really been a starter penciled in as a number 2. There’s a really outside chance he pitches well enought o be a decnet number two, but its doubtful. I am just a little tired of us projecting roster spots/lineups/rotations based on best case scenarios. Really Garza isn’t a number one either. He’s a pretty good number 2.

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      The worse part is even if you can get your ass around it, you won’t get a reach around ;)

  • Serio

    Are they going to look to trade him this offseason?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Definitely.

  • Ron

    Off topic but, The Rule Five Draft has been mentioned in several places and I wanted a run down of when it happens and what it means.  For instance Pena is currently on the 40 man roster but is a free agent at the end of the year.  When someone becomes a FA can their spot be filled to protect someone?  And who do we need to protect from the Rule 5 right now? It is my understanding that it is the prospects that are out of options who are they?  And is there a possibility that we can dump Soriano, Z, Pena, and Ramirez to make room for the “protected”.  I am just most curious about who do the Cubs need to protect and how fast do they need to do it at seasons end.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That sounds like a good future post (probably not until October or so, though, when the FA decisions start to become more imminent). The short answers are: yes, someone else can go on the 40-man when a guy becomes a free agent (but then if the free agent is re-signed, you have to open a spot back up, so you might have to waive the very player you protected); there is a huge list of Rule 5 eligibles at the Cub Reporter (it’s a tab in the lower-right-hand corner); it’s not quite “prospects who are out of options” – it’s a somewhat complicated formula of the age at which they came to the club, and the number of years in the system (the really imprecise shorthand is: if they’re older, and have been in the system three years, they’re probably eligible; if they’re younger, and have been in the system four years, they’re probably eligible). Among the guys who will absolutely have to added: Vitters, Flaherty and Szczur (he has to be added because of his unusual contract).

      • Ron

        Thanks, I will look into those.

      • Ron

        After a quick count in looks like about 25 of those guys will be exposed.

    • Mike

      Hey Ron, here’s something that might help!

      http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/06/the-rule-5-draft.html

      • Ron

        Thanks that cleared it up.

  • philoe beddoe

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!….keep Cashner in the bullpen!…we tried to “stretch him out” this year….How did that work?….he can throw 98,99 out of the pen a few times a week, or he can throw 93-95 a couple times(maybe!) for maybe 5 innings and will probably get hurt….he was a closer in college!…..we will have to trade or sign at least two quality starters….you can not count on him in the rotation…..Wood, Cashner, Carpenter, Marmol…..great start for the pen….

    • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

      I’ve had the same thoughts about Cashner.  Remember he was a closer before he came to us, maybe he just can’t handle the workload of a starter- remember how he’s been compared to Wood?  Maybe the new GM will see this and consider moving Marmol and giving Cashner the closer role.  Cashner looked good last year as a reliever and has yet to be able to show us he can be a starter.  Hopefully the new GM and coaching staff will see what is the right thing to do vs. what we want him to do.

      • hardtop

        um, goat, i know where you are coming from, but a 4.80 era, as a reliever, is definitely not good.

        the last thing we remember from his 2010 season was the 15 innings he pitched in september; those 15 innings  were by far his best.  its easy to forget that he was carrying an era of 8 (+/-) going into that month.  is he the pitcher he was last september?  or is he the pitcher he was last july (11era)?  or is he the pitcher who threw a whole 5.1 innings as a starter in 2011?  the fact is, we just dont know.  no way to know.  in my opinion, we really can’t make any statements or predictions about cashner, as far as his effectiveness as a reliever or a starter at the major league level, becasue there just isnt enough information; and the information we do have is wildly varied.

        im aware of his stats at texas christain and the minors, but, especially with pitching, we know that history doesnt always translate to the bigs.  He’s definitely an unknown in my mind.

        with all of that said, my gut tells me I would rather see him come out of the bullpen.

        i guess we’ll find out next year!

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          Agreed, there are too many IFS surrounding Cashner.  Thats why I hope the next GM and coaches can do what best for him and thereby what is best for the team.

          • dreese

            I agree, we dont know much about how good Cashner will be but I think he is way more valuable as a starter. So why not try him there and see what happens?

  • Baseballet

    Besides the fastball, does Cashner have good enough stuff to start?  I have no idea, I haven’t followed his progress.  If he has secondary pitches then I say we should try to groom him as a starter.  If all he has is a delicious fastball, then pen him up with Samardzija and enjoy the flashing radar readouts and high BB totals.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      His fastball is excellent, and he’s got a good slider. If I remember correctly, the make or break pitch for him as a starter is his change up, which, at last check, was still a work in progress.

      • philoe beddoe

        I just don’t want them to go into next year counting on him as a starter….Demp has kinda been crappy this year, so aside from Garza…we don’t have much….so starters have to be the priority….it would be great to deal Marmol, but that ship has probably sailed(and Brett, you were ahead of the curve in pointing out what a bad contract that was)….you have enough young arms and Woody(assuming he comes back) to follow the Braves blueprint of a loaded bullpen….you HAVE to get 2 starters…one with the potential to be at least a 2….then, another solid 3-, or 4….

        Garza, another 2 type, Dempster, another 4 type, Wells or whoever wins with spot

        gotta have two starters

  • NC Fan

    Why not bring back Mark Prior for the 2012 rotation? Next years rotation doesnt look much better..

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