Lukewarm Stove: Kemp, Reyes, Headley, Pujols, Fielder, Wilson, Ramirez, Cubs

It’s been a busy weekend and Monday around MLB…

  • Today, the Los Angeles Dodgers extended NL MVP Matt Kemp for eight years and $160 million. Kemp, 27, was set to be in his last year of arbitration in 2012 (thought to be on the way to getting about $15 million), so he’s getting a shade over $20 million per year in those seven additional years. The deal sounds about right for a player of Kemp’s stature (in addition to his offensive production, Kemp is a gold glove outfielder), and probably doesn’t set or change the market with respect to any other players. It does, however, remove one of the more attractive 2013 free agents from the table, which could increase the pressure on teams who want a top-line free agent to lock one down this Winter. Then again, I don’t think too many teams were making their plans this Winter on the assumption that Kemp would be available next Winter. So, on the balance, the move is interesting, but probably doesn’t have an impact on too many other MLB teams, including the Cubs. For the Dodgers, it’s a long, healthy commitment to a player coming off of a career year (his 171 OPS+ was some 50 points higher than his career mark going into the season), and ensures that the next owner will have a marquee player around whom to build the franchise.
  • One of this year’s top-line free agents, shortstop Jose Reyes, was signed by the Miami Marlins this weekend … until he wasn’t. There were conflicting reports on Twitter yesterday, from reputable sources on both sides, and we’ve yet to really get a conclusion. The sense is Reyes is likely to sign with the Marlins, and it could be for a deal approaching $100 million. For a “speed” guy approaching 30, coming off of a career year during which he suffered two hamstring injuries to the same leg, and during which his defense was mediocre, the move sounds like it might be as much about “getting a name player” for a team with a new ballpark, as it is about paying Reyes what he’s really worth. If the Marlins do indeed land Reyes, they could slide Hanley Ramirez over to 3B, or could look to trade him. Ramirez, who turns 28 next month, is owed $46.5 million over the next three years, and is coming off an injuried-filled .243/.333/.379 season.
  • As noted previously, the Marlins also have an offer out to Albert Pujols, and are expected to make an alternative run at Prince Fielder. If they managed to land one of the two, might that leave first baseman Gaby Sanchez out of the mix? The Cubs might have some interest in the 28-year-old, who isn’t arbitration eligible until 2013. Sanchez had an OPS+ of 108 and 113 the last two years, so he doesn’t blow it away – he’s just solid. And cheap.
  • The Padres remain likely to move possible Cubs’ trade target, Chase Headley, at some point, but it might not be until mid-season. Unless the Cubs plan to go into the season with an internal solution at 3B – Jeff Baker, Blake DeWitt, DJ LeMahieu, Ryan Flaherty, Josh Vitters, and Junior Lake are among the not-so-great options (for one reason or another) – Headley may not be a realistic target. I remain of the mind that he’s one of the better options out there for the Cubs – prime age, cost-controlled, good plate discipline, good numbers away from Petco, and good defense.
  • Execs think CJ Wilson will get a five or six year contract. He remains a tire-kicking candidate for the Cubs, though their interest will depend greatly on what happens to the rest of the rotation, and whether they can pull off any trades for pitching.
  • Phil Rogers suggests the Cubs could go after Red Sox reliever Michael Bowden as a possible starting pitcher, but his rationale appears to be limited to: (1) Bowden is originally from the Chicago area, (2) Theo Epstein now runs the Cubs after running the Red Sox, (3) Bowden hasn’t gotten much of a shot to start with the Red Sox, and (4) the Cubs need starters. Um, okay. Setting aside the speciousness of the connection (unless Rogers has “heard” something, in which case, say it), the Red Sox are themselves still looking for 4th and 5th starter types.
  • Jon Heyman says the “early word” is that the Cardinals don’t plan to increase their nine-year(ish), $210 million(ish) offer to Albert Pujols. Even if that’s viewed as a low offer, it will (1) be hard for another team to beat it by enough to overcome Pujols’ reported desire to stay in St. Louis, and (2) be steep enough to cause the Cardinals financial troubles down the road.
  • As expected, the Brewers pretty much can’t afford Prince Fielder anymore.
  • Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain are not on the trade market. No surprise.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

100 responses to “Lukewarm Stove: Kemp, Reyes, Headley, Pujols, Fielder, Wilson, Ramirez, Cubs”

  1. Oswego Chris

    just a fun FYI…the team I coach ,played against Bowden his Senior year…he K’d 17 of the 21 guys he faced….we only lost 2-0 and did manage a whopping two hits….our soph kid(who got drafted himself, but was nothing like Bowden) only gave up 4 hits…2 of them to Bowden…

    I was just glad he didn’t equal his record of 19 K’s…..

    as a big leaguer though,  he is at best a 4 or 5 starter

     

  2. Todd

    Good deal for both Kemp and the Dodgers. He wanted to stay there and they needed some positive news in the organization. Too bad he’s not hitting free-agency, though.

    If the Reyes deal becomes official, I think it’s a good fit, as well. However, I think the chances of Ramirez being on the trade block are pretty slim, at least for this off-season.

    At five or six years, I’d stay away from Wilson, but I do think his average annual value won’t be as high as it was projected to be before the playoffs. So, if the Cubs could get him for a four year deal with a fifth year option, I wouldn’t be opposed.

    1. Toosh

      First thing I thought of after reading about Kemp’s contract was “Too bad Hendry’s system could never produce a player that will get a contract like that.”

      1. hansman1982

        two names:

        Starlin and Castro

        1. Toosh

          I thought someone might bring him up. I don’t see him ever getting that type of contract.

      2. Lou

        First thing I thought of was I wonder if the Cubs will be going after Puljos and Fielder because if Kemp is getting this deal, what will it cost to get one of these guys.

    2. JAndersonjr81

      Man, screw the Dodgers. I like McCourt and don’t think he should have been forced to sell. Also, Kemps deal upsets me, because I wanted him to be a Cub more then any other player in the league, including Pujols or Fielder, both of whom I would hate to see on the Cubs.

      1. DRock

        Explain why you “would hate to see Pujols or Fielder on the Cubs”. You want Carlos Pena instead at first?

      2. EtotheR

        You like Frank McCourt? The man builds parking lots. He’s the reason “Big Yellow Taxi” was written.
        And…he and his ex-wife have absolutely obliterated a once-great franchise.
        Still…Kemp would have been nice.
        I’d like us to start checking in on Prince.

  3. JulioZuleta

    Brett, Baseball America posted their Cubs top 10 today. Some surprises, off the top of my head Dolis seems high, Lake low (In my opinion). It also seems that they didn’t take low level guys into much consideration, as I believe both you and I would have included Marco Hernandez and maybe a couple others. Good to see Maples so high and Vogelbach in the top ten. Here it is :
    http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/rankings/organization-top-10-prospects/2012/2612580.html

    1. Kyle

      I’ll have more thoughts tomorrow when Brett posts his, but this list doesn’t bother me too much. It’s about right, within the “top 10 list” format.

      Basically, you the near-ready Jackson, the very interesting McNutt and Baez, and then just a humongous mass of prospects who could all be arranged in just about any order and be considered reasonable.

      1. JulioZuleta

        Yeah, I’ve been saying it for a while that the Cubs have an extremely hard system to rank. If you arranged a top 15 list with “most likely to make a major league roster” another by “most likely to be a major league starter” and another under “most likely to be a perennial all-star” they would be vastly different lists.

        1. Luke

          Petty much. I was surprised to see Maples start that high and really surprised to see Castillo jump up that high, but I can’t really quibble with either decision. I’ve been trying to hold off on putting up my list until after the Boston compensation deal goes through, but I may have to give that up if I want it out there before the next ice age.

    2. hogie

      Best Defensive Catcher- Welington Castillo

      Really? Have I been that much off on this guy? He looked aweful sloppy to me. Tends to get lazy on balls in the dirt or that he has to reach for, but I didn’t see him a whole ton, so maybe just off days.

      1. Luke

        I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but he throws out 35%-40% of baserunners and is reported to have made huge strides in handling a staff and blocking balls in the past two season. I’d say that listing isn’t a stretch. His glove is a good part of his game. I’m guessing you’ve just caught him on off days.

  4. Sam

    I think the Cubs should look into trading for Hanley Ramirez if the marlins sign Reyes. I know he didn’t have the best year last year, but he had an amazing 2009 and 2010 and he would be under team control for around 4 years. Plus the marlins are already interested in Z… Just sayin.

    1. Cliffy

      There is a reported sighting of Theo having lunch with Zambrano at Goose Island Brewery today. Is it possible that Theo discussed Z waving his no trade? Maybe a Cubs/Marlins deal with Hanley Ramirez coming this way.

      1. Kyle

        That probably came up, but if that was all it was about, then Epstein would have gone straight to his agent.

        This is about exactly what Epstein said it was about: Gauging Zambrano’s attitude with an eye toward keeping him for 2012.

        1. CubFan Paul

          exactly Kyle ..& Muskat is know confirming the report of the meeting/lunch

          reading between the lines of Z’s quotes last week, he said he’d fly out of Venezuela saturday & meet Theo today but no one took him seriously because he said ‘IF’

      2. Cheryl

        I’m beginning to wonder if the cubs are having second thoughts about Zambrano. At the end of the season I thought he’d never set foot in a cubs uniform again. I still have my doubts about him returning. But it looks like they are re-evaluating everything that went on during the Quade season, With a new pitching coach and manager, they may give him another chance, But does he deserve it?

        1. BetterNews

          I think its more of a money matter than if he deseves it. Ank
          if that is the case, Cubs are making a big “M”, as in mistake.

          1. Cheryl

            If it is a money matter, I agree with you. But if its a question of poor management, that’s what I’m wondering about in their re-appraisal of the forty man roster. They can’t afford to have a ‘cancer’ in the clubhouse. And I would also question if the other members of the team want him back. That’s why I still have my doubts about his return.

            1. BetterNews

              Maybe they believe they can turn him around.
              But where have we heard that before? I believe he
              is a “tornado” waiting to strike again.

          2. Kyle

            I can pretty much guarantee you that Epstein is familiar with the concept of a sunk cost. Zambrano is under guaranteed contract for 2012, and so money doesn’t enter into the equation.

            As far as they are concerned, Zambrano is under team control for next year. The only issue is whether having him pitch is worth more to them than what they can get (including salary relief) in a trade.

            And, of course, my opinion is still that Zambrano was being used as a scapegoat by the old regime to distract people away from the losing failures of the whole team.

            Yes, Zambrano is a nutjob and a bad teammate. But so was Ron Santo, whose incident list is at least as bad if not worse. Zambrano is still a useful pitcher, and a clubhouse of 24 highly paid professional men can nut up and deal with him.

            1. Toosh

              Wow! Comparing Carlos Zambrano to Ron Santo? You are a fucking moron! Brett, you need to ban this guy from your ‘site for good.

              1. Kyle

                How much do you know about Ron Santo’s playing career?

            2. BetterNews

              Kyle—Can’t agree with you there. Zambrano was not being used as a scapegoat by the old regime, that is just simply not true. He brought on his own problems and to say that the old regime was somehow manipulating things is just ridiculous.

              You yourself said in your comment said it comes down to what the Cubs can get in return for Zambrano, so money indeed comes into the equation.

              1. BetterNews

                Kyle—Also, I am going to have to agree with Toosh on your comment about Santo. I am not going to put it as harshly as he did, but yes you are a dumb @#$%&*@#$%.

                1. Toosh

                  Thank you, Better News. I apologize if I offended any readers with my choice of words. Normally I disguise that word if I use it. What I was trying to convey had to be said.

                2. Kyle

                  I’ll excuse the anger because it’s not uncommon for so many Cubs fans to be ignorant of Santo’s history.

                  Ron Santo:

                  Was notorious for destroying equipment in the dugout if he had a poor game.
                  Designed a gesture that was specifically intended to annoy opponents after a win.
                  Physically choked his own coach in the dugout.
                  Got into relatively frequent physical fights with his opponents and teammates.
                  Threw a young player under the bus to the press when he made a mistake.
                  Was frequently called a selfish player by his teammates, including one who said the Cubs would never win a division until they got rid of him (and they didn’t).

                  The way some Cubs fans eat up whatever the media tells them is somewhat hilarious to me. Zambrano the unacceptable and Ron Santo the ultimate Cubs fans were more or less the same pesron (and roughly equivalent in value as players. Santo was better, but not by as much as many Cubs fans would think, just because Zambrano’s prime was so underrated).

                  Some athletes are jerks. Well, honestly, a lot of athletes are jerks. Zambrano is no different than many, many jerks who came before him, or the many jerks who will come after him. The old organization just needed another in the long line of scapegoats to distract from their own failures.

                  1. BetterNews

                    I’ll can say with 100% certainty there will never be a statue of Zambrano. Zambrano can only dream of getting the support Santo had troughout his career and in his passing. You are a JERK!

                    1. Kyle

                      Way to kill the messenger :) I loved Ron Santo, too. But I can be honest about what he was. I don’t have to lie to myself or sugarcoat the past. Everything I posted was dead-on true about Santo.

                      Every time you get furious at Zambrano for attacking his teammates, remember that Santo did it.

                      If you ever hear a player throw his teammate under the bus to the press instead of keeping it in the clubhouse, remember that Santo did it.

                      Whenever you think about that thug Latrell Sprewell, remember that Santo did it first.

                      Whenever you hear people saying that someone is a bad, selfish teammate and they’ll never be on a championship team, remember that they said the same thing about Santo.

                      Whenever you call a player bush league for showing up his opponents with a gesture, remember that was Santo’s signature and his admitted reason for the heel-click.

                      If Zambrano were to come back in 25 years and become a beloved emotional broadcaster, then suddenly everyone would forget about everything he did.

                      I say all this not to denigrate Santo. He was a hothead who didn’t have a chance to grow up until he was old enough to retire from playing a game for a living. We all have flaws.

                      I say this to remind people that the media and fans love to make up stories about athletes. This guy’s a hero, that guy’s a jerk, this guy’s a winner, this guy’s a loser. But they are really all just people, and frequently the story and the person don’t match up.

        2. LouCub

          Cheryl, I don’t think Z will be back for the long haul..Theo’s doing what Hendry never did…build up guys he wants to move to increase their value and not be forced to give them away without getting much back or for another bad contract.Zambrano is still a capable starter and being that starting pitching is scarce this offseason he could be moved.

          1. Cheryl

            That would be a relief. My questions were strictly in regard to Quade and the pitching coach. I agree that Zambrano is still a capable starter but for someone else besides the cubs.

          2. Cubbie Blues

            Per Carrie Muskat “Zambrano has to earn his way back to pitch for #Cubs bit.ly/uO49hz”

            1. Kyle

              The article says that Epstein laid out “steps” to Zambrano but he won’t say what those steps were, and that if Zambrano follows them, he’ll have “earned” his way back to the team and would be welcome to Spring Training.

              Good call, Theo. Loving everything he’s done so far!

  5. Toosh

    The Marlins are considering moving Ramirez to CF if they sign Reyes.

    1. Cliffy

      Yes I saw that as well I’m thinking its less likely they keep Hanley the more FA they sign. Eventually they will top out on payroll and need to jettison someone.

      1. Jeff

        Florida’s owners are going all in with the new ballpark opening next season.  I don’t think there is any way that they trade Hanley Ramirez.  I live just north of Miami, and Ramirez is really the only Marlin that any of the fans down here care about.  His value is at a very low point, and everyone in the organization has said that getting him back on track is just as big of a priority as any other personnel moves this winter.  They have been talking about moving him from shortstop for a few years now, and center field seems to make sense if he can handle the extra running he’ll have to do.  You can absolutely give up the pipe dream that they would take Zambrano in exchange for Ramirez.

  6. Jackson

    Michael Bowden is a White Sox fan, I know some of his family members, they don’t like the Cubs at all, lol. But if it meant pitching in his home-town, he’d probably be happy to get traded.

  7. dreese

    Speaking of prospects does everyone consider Hayden Simpson a bust? Should I keep having hope for him?

    1. Luke

      Way to early to give up on Simpson. The potential there is extremely high, and we haven’t seen him pitch when he’s anywhere near his playing weight yet. Let’s see what he can do when completely healthy and he has his fastball.

      1. JasonB

        Agree with Luke – can’t write him off until we see how he recovers from mono

      2. CubFan Paul

        almost any player drafted prior to this year shouldn’t be counted upon because wilken and Fleita didnt have the resources (money$) to draft *quality* players, hence Simpson being a 1st rounder in 2010 or NO impact prospects climbing the ranks or pushing vets

        1. Luke

          I’m not convinced that Simpson isn’t a first round talent, but that’s a different debate. He did sign inexpensively, and that no doubt played part in where he was drafted.

          But it is an overstatement to say there are no impact prospects climbing the ranks. There aren’t many, I grant you, but Reggie Golden projects as a five tool guy, Junior Lake broke out this season, Trey McNutt and Rafael Dolis both have front of rotation / closer potential, Marco Hernandez and Gioskar Amaya look pretty good so far (but I’m not certain on the ceiling of either), much of the Boise pitching staff has a very bright future (including some with ace/closer potential), Logan Watkins and Zeke DeVoss both project very well as starting second basemen/center fielders with leadoff hitter potential… and so on. I can see all of those guys I just named reaching at least one All-Star game in the next decade or so.

          There aren’t any Matt Moores or Bryce Harpers in the system (though Candelario may yet hit that level), but that doesn’t mean there are no impact guys at all. They may be too deep in the system to help in 2012, but they are there. I still expect the Cubs will rank solidly in the middle tier of farm systems (10-16).

        2. Toosh

          Many teams have had better drafts with less money to work with than the Cubs. Success in baseball’s amateur draft has more to do with talent evaluation and projection than with money.

          1. CubFan Paul

            ookay, then the Cubs talent evaluators who Suck for the reasons i listed above

    2. hansman1982

      a 6 month bout with Mono and losing 20+ pounds will devastate most any athelete. If he still sucks after this year then we can start having the discussion about him not being highly ranked. A bust will take another year beyond this one.

      1. JasonB

        Earlier this year, Jim Callis offered a unique perspective on Simpson in a prospect chat.  He said something like this: the most difficult thing to teach pitchers with overpowering stuff is how to pitch without their overpowering stuff – Hayden Simpson was given that opportunity this year.

        1. Cheryl

          Still think a decision on Simpson will take another year. Hansman is right. He had about the worst case of Mono anyone could have. Hope he’s up to full strength in the spring and a fair assessment can be made.

        2. hansman1982

          Its one thing to pitch without your best stuff – its entirely different when you dont have anything – reports were that he couldnt even pick up a baseball for months – I think the latter part of last year and early this year will be the “pitching without your overpowering stuff” while he works to get his stuff back

          1. Jason

            That could be – I don’t know because I never saw him pitch or anything. Regardless of when any of this occurs on a timeline, he is going to have to / had to learn to pitch without the benefit of an exploding 93-94 MPH fastball and that could be beneficial to his long-term development. That’s the point that Callis was trying to make (and I guess that I was trying to make when I made my post).

            We both agree that it’s still too early to call Simpson a bust. I just hope that he recovers and can get his strength back because if he can’t, then he most likely will be a bust.

  8. MichiganGoat

    FACT: MichIgan Beer is Great! Follow @MichiganGoat on twitter!

    1. CubFan Paul

      yawn, TIRESOME MG, sooo TIRESOME :)

    2. hansman1982

      BOOOO!!!! SELF PROMOTION NOT ALLOWED HERE (BTW, I will be performing stand up tom night at The House of Bricks in Des Moines – $1domestics)

      Now go away you shameless, shameless man and let me drink my PBR in peace.

      1. Katie

        Hansman, how did it go last night??

        1. hansman1982

          The show is tonight…I am hoping it goes well as this is only my 3rd time trying standup

      2. miggy80

        Say What?! House of Bricks! No seriously Say What?! Poetry house of bricks 1st Thursday of every month. Don’t pay attention to the heckler tonight.

        1. hansman1982

          yup that House of Bricks – 1st, 3rd and 5th are the Underground Comedy Open Mic nights – this will be my third attempt at making people laugh…the first two didnt invoke crickets but who knows.

  9. bacboris

    Brett, I’m very disappointed that I have to read about this series of long-awaited jokes on MLB traderumors.

    Compensation talks between the Cubs and Red Sox for Theo Epstein are progressing amicably, Epstein told Alex Speier of WEEI.com. “I know I’m right, because I know my own faults better than Ben does,” Epstein said. “I know my limitations. I’m just not worth that much. But I’m sure it will work out, one way or the other, in a way that satisfies all the parties involved.”
    -http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2011/11/nl-central-notes-cordero-cubs.html

  10. Cliffy

    Arizona Phil takes a stab at current Cubs top ten. He’s a well respected contributor on another blog.

    1. Brett Jackson 2. Jae-Hoon Ha 3. Welington Castillo 4. Josh Vitters 5. Javier Baez 6. Trey McNutt 7. Junior Lake 8. Matt Szczur 9. D. J. LeMahieu 10. Dan Vogelbach

    1. JulioZuleta

      Is that actually his top ten? I guess he knows these guys better than I do, but Ha at 2 is a huge stretch, as is castillo at 3 and szczur at 8 is really low

  11. Ramy16

    MLB trade rumors report Aramis Ramirez’s agent ” saying there is no chance that the Cubs sign Aramis that shipped has sailed”… He wants a 3 -4 yr deal… Unless Theo has somebody to fill those shoes… He’s an idiot for letting Aramis walk!! Not because he’s my favorite player, there’s litterly nobody on the Cubs to fill those shoes unless via trade! What a boner

    1. BetterNews

      That ship sailed long time ago my friend.

  12. LouCub

    Per MLB trade rumors as well, the Cubs are one of 8 teams in on Grady Sizemore to play RF..If healthy would be a great addition

    1. Kyle

      I like Sizemore, but I swear I’ve heard at least a dozen teams connected to him. If everything tries to buy low at the same time, you end up buying high.

  13. Mike F

    Yeah, I think it’s something of a no-brainer. He ups your defense and team speed, gives a great option in all 3 OF positions and could be a big hit on the rebound. Like the flexibility if his knee is sound.

  14. hogie

    I thought I heard he was looking for 10 mil or so? That is a pretty big gamble IMHO.

    1. hogie

      Went back and looked it up, it was said that he won’t get 10 like Beltre did, but 6-7 mil would be reasonable. Maybe worth it.

  15. Oswego Chris

    I may be in the minority, but I like the approach Epstein is taking with Big Z. 

    I trust that the “steps” he must take are for real, and that this is potentially the best way to get any value from his remaining contract. 

    Worst case scenario, you eat the 18 mil down the road and he is gone in the spring or summer, I think that the TheoRegime really does look at “assets” differently…and there is no way in a trade we would get as much potential upside….

    unless Chone Figgins excites you…

     

    1. Cheryl

      The approach makes sense. There’s a lot of question marks in terms of Z. They can’t afford to bend over backwards so that he thinks he can do what he wants and continue to alienate his fellow players. I stil have doubts about his pitching for the cubs next year though.

  16. jt

    Yep, I said it several times on here that I thought Big Z was going to be pitching for the cubs this upcoming season. There’s just too little starting pitching out there, and we all know he can be at the very least effective and at the very most really good. Theo knows this better that any of us I’m sure.

    1. JulioZuleta

      Or he is saying this to put on a show to the other teams that we don’t neeeed to trade him. Pretty strategic move for Theo to make their conversation public, right before the GM meetings start. If you are trying to sell someone a product, you don’t talk about your need to get rid of it and the problems with it, you talk about the value it provides, and your unwillingness to get sell it unless you receive a very strong offer. I still think it’s a very long shot that he starts next year with the Cubs.

      1. Kyle

        Epstein is certainly not afraid to play things close to his vest, but it’s been clear throughout this process that he places a high value on honesty. If he told Zambrano that he could work his way back to the Cubs, he meant it. That doesn’t mean he’s not trying to deal him, too, of course.

  17. jt

    Judging by the way that he handled the Sandberg and Quade situations, I don’t think Theo would put this out there, or tell Zambrano and his agent this unless he planned on seeing it through. The guy seems to have a lot of integrity about that sort of thing. It sounds like there are some realistic milestones Z will have to meet to make his way back to the club. If he can’t meet those milestones, then who knows what happens. If he does I really think he could be pitching for us again next season.

    I do agree with the notion that the new regime is not in the business of trying publicly lessen the value of our players though. Just not to the ends that they’re being deceptive with the players and telling them one thing just so that they can do another.

    1. hansman1982

      I think you just said what JZ said but you used more and different words.

      If Theo can’t get something decent for him he will wait until the deadline to shop him again (which I think is the best because Z *usually* makes it until then before he blows up) and try to squeeze a team or two while they let McNutt and/or Jackson reestablish themselves in AAA/AA.

      1. jt

        Maybe… I might be reading it wrong but JZ seemed to imply that there was some deception going on there. Like he’s only telling Zambrano, his agent, and the media this so that he can offload him. I was just pointing out that everything we’ve heard about how Theo approaches people and deals with them leads me to believe that Z is going to get a real chance to earn his way back on to the team. If Z can’t meet the expectations that were set forth then he’ll probably be let go or traded with us kicking in most of his salary.

        1. JulioZuleta

          Not exactly deception, if the Cubs can’t find a reasonable offer, I guess it’s possible that he weill be back. In all that has been reported about the “lunch”, Theo never told Zambrano that there was no way he would be traded or anything like that. I think he’s just covering his bases here; raising Z’s perceived value to the Cubs, thereby raising his trade value, and also leaving the door cracked open for a possible return.

  18. Ronnie A.

    No need to hate on Z. yes he’s had his troubles.. but think we are VERY thin on SP. only give him away if we get a nice return… WHICH WON’T HAPPEN. he makes a great number 4 starter.
    1-Garza
    2- Wilson/Buhlere
    3-dempster
    4-Zambrano
    5- Cashner/Samardzija/McNutt

    1. TC

      Yep. We need innings innings innings and more innings this year, and Z will provide those. There’s a lot of value in that