The Chicago Cubs made a few procedural roster moves today, returning formerly-disqualified pitcher Carlos Zambrano to, um, “qualified” status on the 40-man roster, and designating for assignment pitchers Justin Berg and Brian Schlitter.

Zambrano, who hasn’t been with the team since he “quit” in mid-August, is not expected to be a member of the 2012 Cubs. But, to preserve the ability to trade Zambrano (lest he be claimed for the league minimum), the Cubs weren’t going to waive him this Winter. Thus, is one again a full member of the 40-man roster. Don’t read into the move.

As for Berg, he may have had his last chance with the Cubs. The team needed to start the process of opening up roster spots for the Winter, and when your name pops up first, it’s rarely a good sign. Berg, 27, pitched in parts of three seasons with the Cubs, never quite hanging on in the bullpen. He logged a total of 64 innings, with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.453 WHIP. If nobody else wants him, the Cubs could re-sign him to a minor league deal, where he would pitch out of the Iowa bullpen next year.

Schlitter, 25, was never quite healthy enough to crack the bigs with the Cubs. He saw action in seven games last year (to the tune of a healthy 12.38 ERA), and didn’t pitch at all in the minors this year.

  • Fishin Phil

    I’m actually going to be a little sad when Carlos leaves.  I’ll look back and think what might have been.

    • hardtop

      heck yeah you’re gonna miss him. we all will. when you take the worst pitching in baseball (did they wiggle their way into second worst) and you remove one of the three best pitchers…. what are you left with? ro-lo! and the cubs are going to miss the 14 mill they will have to pay him to play elsewhere too. its a bad situation anyway you slice it.

  • EQ76

    I’m not sure what to do with my Big Z autographed Jersey and baseball.. maybe ingredients in the next batch of Harry Caray Restaurant’s spaghetti??

  • Toosh

    Scratch one name off of the list of potential new GMs. Beane says he’s staying in Oakland. I predict Ricketts is going to hear “No. Thank you.” a lot and will have to settle for a little fish. Then he’ll crank up the PR machine to try to put a positive spin on it all.

    • Cheryl

      Anybody for Brenley?

    • Brett

      Who do you consider a “little fish,” though? There would be legitimate reasons to want one of the up-and-coming assistant GMs over some of the current GMs, whether or not the latter group said no.

      • Toosh

        I consider (in alphabetical order) Beane, Cashman, Epstein and Friedman the top 4 names that have been talked about. Ricketts won’t get one of them. Then people will say he never really had a chance with any of them. He’ll settle for a lesser name, then say that person was the choice all along.

        • Brett

          I agree that those are probably the top four, but I also believe none were ever going to be “likely.”

          Isn’t it possible that Ricketts will take the best shot he can at them, and they all say no? And then Ricketts hires the next best he can get. How is that his fault?

          • Toosh

            You’re right. None of those 4 were likely. By now Ricketts must have a personal “short list”. More than likely no one on that list is involved with a team in the postseason. It’s time to hire a real GM. Every day Ricketts waits is a day wasted.

            • pfk

              Although he may loose out on the Big 4, at least he has to give it a shot. And that means waiting until the playoffs and Series are over. I don’t consider it time wasted. He’s wise to wait and take a shot at the biggies. I’m also pretty sure there are others who will gladly wait until he takes his shot at the Big 4, knowing that if he fails, those next in line have a real shot at what is the next best gig in all of baseball.

              • Toosh

                Ricketts will make another dumb move in the GM hunt just as most of his moves have been dumb. Francona’s on the way out in Boston. Maybe Ricketts will jump the gun and hire him for the new GM like he did with Fleita. The good news is season ticket holders have to renew 2 months earlier this year and there will be an increase in season ticket sales. More revenue for Ricketts.

  • die hard

    why would someone want to be GM here when chance of doing well with current contracts at least 5 yrs away?…. and notwithstanding what Mr. Ricketts says there wont be enough money to sign a decent free agent and still have enough to renovate the ball park…and if Dempster wakes up and realizes nobody will pay him 14 million, then he will exercise and we will be stuck with yet another untenable contract?….we will limp along until all of this flushes through the pipes…now if he finds a GM willing to accept a 10 yr contract so as to have time to work out the past and plan for the future, maybe will get someone with ability to deliver….huge IF

    • Mike Foster

      dh, you’re missing what a big market Chicago is, maybe because you live there? The chance to bring a WS to Chicago is a powerful lure to some….Theo, and other???? Now there is an owner that wants to win, rather than just fill enough seats…and will spend some $$$’s. Who WOULDN’T want to be GM? Unless your gravy train is already paved with gold.

    • Hansman1982

      5 years? After next year Soriano is the only big Hendry contract left. We should easily be able to build a competitive team in 2013. Unfortunately, Epstein isn’t leaving Boston now,Friedmann always was a long shot (and I’m not confident he would do well with a bigger payroll)…best bet (and my first choice) is Cashman.

  • BFM

    I will miss Big Z too. I don’t want him on the team anymore though.
    I loved him and his fire when they were on the mound.
    This last tirade was over the top and unfortunately, it’s time to say goodbye.
    But as this door closes, another shall open.

    This has turned into one big shit burger and we all have to take a bite.

  • Deez

    I think the writing was on the wall after Big Z said the team was worse than an AAA Team. That went a long way to say what he thought about Quade’s managerial style. Cubs should have gotten what they could for him at that point, BUT…
    I think what Quade & Riggins did to him during that Braves game was F…d up! To let your pitcher labor like that was uncalled for as well as unprofessional.

  • die hard

    He can play 3rd or 1st..can hit as well as Ramirez or Pena…think outside the box

  • ricosanto

    I am still putting my money on Rick Hahn and Ryno. I really feel this is the best combo. Sandberg is the right choice , A teaching , and learning type manager that will build year after year. We have went the experience route one too many times ,Baker, Lou then QBALL. We do not need Francona, his style is really laid back maybe ok for a veteran team

  • Cedlandrum

    Cubs will probably resign Berg to a Minor League Deal, because he is going to have TJS. Usually they do that and let the guy rehab in AZ.

    • Brett

      Thanks for that, Ced. I didn’t know about the TJS – that would be pretty kind of the Cubs to foot the bill when Berg was probably going to be derostered anyway. Or maybe I’m just a heartless bastard.