Compared to the Theo Epstein circus, it’s been a minor drama, but the dalliance between Ozzie Guillen, the Miami Marlins, and Carlos Zambrano has been up there among the early offseason story lines. First, there was word that the Marlins might have interest in Zambrano, who has one year left on his current contract, and whom the Cubs will almost certainly be looking to trade. Then, there were reports that Guillen, who is close friends with Zambrano, was already talking to Zambrano about joining him next year. Zambrano, for his part, denied speaking with Guillen about the Marlins. At last check, the Marlins were interested in Zambrano.

But, as it was with the Epstein he-said, she-said, another report says the Marlins are not interested in pursuing Zambrano this Winter.

Buster Olney (“Insider”) says that, despite all of the rumors, there isn’t a great deal of Zambrano discussion in the Marlins’ organization. The concern, Olney believes, is Zambrano’s regression over the last handful of years, rather than his various outbursts.

Zambrano is owed about $18 million in 2012 (with an unachievable vesting option for 2013), and I remain of the belief that any number of teams would be interested in Zambrano for a few million bucks. I also suspect the Cubs would be willing to move Zambrano for that level of salary relief.

It’s interesting that, for all the discussion about how weak the 2012 pitching market is, no one seems to mention that it could have a beneficial effect on the market for Carlos Zambrano. If good arms truly are that difficult to come back this Winter, perhaps the interest in Zambrano – whether from Miami or elsewhere – will be greater than any of us is expecting.

  • Fishin Phil

    You would think someone would be desperate willing to take a chance if we are paying a chunk of his salary.

  • Kansas Cubs Fan

    How about we send something along the lines of Zambrano+ 15mil and Soto to Marlins for Anibal Sanchez?


  • Ron

    Hope springs eternal.

  • Jim

    Maybe this can be the first piece of business for Theo…

  • Cliffy

    Cherrington presser @ 3pm tuesday. WEEI will carry it live. Could be fun to listen that as well. Thats eastern
    time 2pm locally.

    • Brett

      I guess that means the Red Sox “won” the battle to go second. Let’s hope (and I’m assuming) Epstein/Ricketts/whoever else take the high road, and say nothing about the Red Sox or the “process.”

  • die hard

    Nolan Ryan would be able to handle Z and make him a winner….

    • Kansas Cubs Fan

      A hot head owner and a hot head pitcher wouldn’t be a good match….I can already see the fight.


      • MikeL

        But who wouldn’t pay money to see Nolan Ryan put Z in a headlock?!?!? THAT would be one for the ages….

  • kinhin

    I’m hoping Epstein does everything in his power to move Zambrano. We need to get rid of our ‘dead weight’ contracts. If Epstein could move Soriano too it would be great! And if Dempster options can’t we turn around and try & trade him also?

    • Jeff

      Dempster has 5 and 10 rights to veto any trade, so that’s not likely.  It seems like he really wants to pitch for Cubs again, so, I think he’s going to sign an extension for less yearly.


    • Brett

      Dempster has 10/5 rights, and has the right to reject any trade.

      Edit: Whoops. Sorry, Jeff. Didn’t see you there.

  • CubFan Paul

    all this talk of moving, trading, dumping Z is all for not. he has a no trade clause and 10/5 rights. his agent will more than likely decline all trade opportunites so that the Cubs are forced to release Zambrano and pay him in full. Then his agent will get Z more money in a new 2012 contract.

    why allow yourself to get traded when you can force a release and make even more money (even if its only the veterans minimum)

    • Brett

      He wouldn’t get any extra money – whatever the signing team signs him for is paid by that team, with that amount being subtracted from what the Cubs owe to Zambrano. In other words, unless he signs for more than $18 million, that’s all he’s getting no matter what happens.

  • Ryan

    I agree with Paul. Everyone assumes Zambrano will be traded if the Cubs pay most of the salary. Zambrano and his agent can just deny those requests and wait to get released. Every team in baseball knows what Zambrano’s situation is. Why give up anything for him if you can just wait until he’s released?

    • Hawkeye

      Although the relationship between the Cubs and Z may be strained, I would hope that Z won’t try to stick it to them on the way out the door by declining a trade, as long as it isn’t to some team that isn’t going to win 60 games next year.

    • JulioZuleta

      Also, he already looks like a big enough idiot, that wouldn’t do much to help his image. It’s in his best interest to accept a trade to any team, not cause any problems and try to piece together a decent year going into his new contract. That being said, we can’t really expect him to think logically.

  • DaveB23

    Keep in mind he’s said in the past that he plans to retire after his current contract is up in 2012.
    Obviously a lot has changed since he said that, and of course when the opportunity comes up to add some more zeros to all the millions he’s already made it might be too tempting for him to walk away from the game, but it’s still something to consider.

    • dreese

      Doesn’t he always threaten retirement?

  • die hard

    think outside the box….Big Z can play first base and out hit Pena

    • Brett

      For his career, Zambrano is an above-average hitter for a pitcher. As a position player, he’s only slightly better than Koyie Hill. The numbers are the numbers.

      • die hard

        but consider how hed do if got same batting practice and reps as position players…due to temperment cant trust him anymore as a pitcher…like that college lineman whos forced to play offensive line and is ok but once moved to defensive line became a star cause hes very aggressive and a little nuts….would be a combo of Fielder and Pujols for half the price….

        • Art

          as a position player he’d stink at 1B. course he could try out for the Bears.

        • Luke

          A combination of Fielder and Pujols… Pujols’ age and Fielder’s defense? No doubt with Dunn’s strikeouts thrown in.

      • hansman1982

        Why, dear God, why…

    • Internet Random

      Garza should be moved to catcher.  Then move Starlin Castro to RF and get Koyie Hill in the starting rotation.  Campana to 1B and fourth in the lineup.  All problems solved.

      You’re welcome, Tom Ricketts.

      • Jason

        I think Byrd will be a batter C than Garza. Plus, with Garza’s defensive prowess, he really should be playing SS.

        Soriano should, of course, be our staff ace.

  • Cliffy

    Theo Epstein will be in studio live with Dave Kaplan on his show at 530 tomorrow.

    • Vinestal

      Where did you hear about Theo on Kaplan’s show he hasn’t tweeted anything about it.

  • Cliffy

    Kaplan mentioned it during the show.

    • Brett

      Wow, nice get for Kaplan on the first day.

  • MichiganGoat

    There is a great game day thread going on at the message boards

  • die hard

    I dont want to eat any more salaries!!!!!!….so, keep Soriano, but move him to first base….keep Zambrano, but move him to closer……make Marmol starter…..exercise Ramirez option and let him play but work in Lamaheu so gets 250 at bats….

    • DWahl71

      I think im speaking for everyone when i say…. what??!

      • bacboris

        Not true DWahl! I wasn’t even thinking about asking him to explain his ramblings.

      • hansman1982

        It is best to let rabid dogs lie…

  • Cubbie_Blue

    come on die hard, none of that makes any sense. marmol cant start, i dont like even having him out there back to back innings that seems to be his downfall. soriano wont be at first either, i believe we will go after fielder. big z is just not a closer by any chance

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