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.