The Carlos Zambrano/Chris Volstad swap is now official, with the Chicago Cubs kicking in about $15 million of the $18 million Zambrano is owed in 2012.

Zambrano agreed to waive not only his no-trade clause to approve the deal, but he also waived the paper tiger 2013 vesting option, which would have seen him net $19.25 million in 2013 if he somehow managed to finish in the top four in Cy Young voting next year. Instead, he’ll get a $100k bonus now if he is named the Comeback Player of the Year. On his $18 million salary, that’s less than a 1% bonus. Swell.

More importantly, however, Ken Rosenthal reports that, commensurate with the trade, the Cubs and Zambrano settled the grievance he filed against the team last year when they placed him on the disqualified list for 30 days. The move, which followed Zambrano’s August 12 explosion and “retirement” in Atlanta, cost Zambrano about $3 million in 2011 salary, and he was fighting to get it back.

The two sides agreed to a $2.4 million settlement, according to Rosenthal, which saves the Cubs $600k.

According to Paul Sullivan, the amount of money the Cubs will send to Miami is based on the amount Chris Volstad makes in arbitration – in other words, the Cubs will send the Marlins $18 million, less the amount Volstad makes. That way, the trade is essentially an even swap.

  • Ashley

    I know it cost the Cubs a good amount to trade him, but I think at the end of the day this was a trade that had to happen. I think the Cubs got a good young pitcher back and that a change of scenery is going to help both pitcher. I always tolerated Big Z’s behavior because he produced on the field. I even let him slide when he got in a fight with one of my favorite players, but walking out on your teammates and throwing a fit like a 2 year old was just the final straw.


    • Joe

      Calling Volstad “good” is a bit of a stretch, don’t you think? :)

      As for the rest, I agree with you wholeheartedly. The fight/argument with DLee is when I really started to question my faith in Z as a person, and then I lost it when I saw how he so blatantly threw at Chipper Jones.

      I wonder how his Marlins teammates feel… and how they’ll feel after the 3rd or 4th eruption. How many more breaks will he get, that’s the question.

  • Vic

    Tell me more about the paper tiger. I feel bad he had to let it go :(

    As much as I cringe at seeing how much of his contract the Cubs are eating, I can’t imagine how bad it’d be with Soriano.

    • Brett

      I just want to say that getting to use paper tiger in a context that is both accurate (the option seemed menacing but actually wasn’t) and actually about paper was extraordinarily gratifying.

      • Joe


  • jandersonjr81 father of Caden

    So basicly, the Cubs trade Z, paid his whole salary and got nobody back. I could have done this, and ricketts could have match my current salary and saved us the Boston compensation. At 5 mil a year for Theo, that would have saved us $4,926,000 in FO cash.

    • Toosh

      Wrong again. The Cubs are not paying Zambrano’s whole salary and they did get a player back in return.

    • Matt

      Ummmm, they got a 25 yr old former first rounder. It was either that or pay him to sit on his couch. Theo’s hands were tied because of the full no-trade, and the player. Nobody wanted that nutcase. This was the best case scenario. He essentually got a starting pitcher to leave the numbers where they are in case he trades Garza. This way, they can continue to shop Garza. Sorry, if Volstad doesn’t “knock your socks off,” but it was that or nothing. If you want to thank anybody, thank Hendry for making it impossible to move any of the players we have on this team.

    • Rancelot

      What is so hard for you people to understand we didn’t just trade the Carlos Zambrano from 2003-2008…this is the 2012 version. Need I remind you that his production, velocity, and desire (yes desire, remember all that “retirement” talk) has been on a steady decline? I am starting to wonder if we have been watching the same team…the blind allegiance of the players wearing the uniform is a thing of past, ladies and gentlemen. Get over it!

      One of my favorite sayings in the world goes like this…if you ain’t with us, you’re against us!

    • jandersonjr81 father of Caden

      Volstad is an AAA filler at best. We pay 18 million minus Volstad Arb #. That’s basicly the whole salary, cause I’m expecting absolutely nothing from Volstad. Don’t think he could crack Iowa’s rotation.

      • King Jeff

        As much as you are ripping on Volstad, his numbers were pretty close to Zambrano last year.  Volstad is a former first round pick, who is (at least) 8 years younger than Z, under team control for 3 years, and has peripherals that indicate he can correct his shortcomings.  I’m not sure if you remember this, but Zambrano quit on the Cubs last year, walked right out of the clubhouse during a game.  You are sure pitching a fit over the Cubs trading someone who quit the team 5 months ago.

      • Brett

        Well, now, that’s just silly.

      • JasonB

        Apparently, 25-year old former 1st round draft picks who are showing signs of growth are just filler now.

        • hansman1982

          Pay no attention to the 50% GB rate, the 4.00ish xFIP, the same WAR as Z the last 2 years.

          • JasonB

            None of that is relevant – I don’t know his name as well as Zambrano’s and he didn’t have a good ERA or a lot of Wins last year so he has to suck.  The only stats that matter for pitchers are ERA and Wins

          • Jonski

            Yeah,but it all works out we wont have to replace a gatorade cooler every 5th day guess you thought the Nationals were going to come a calling offering Bryce Harper for this big pile of hot steamin shit.

          • Doug Dascenzo

            The move showed how serious Theo is about changing the culture in the organization; he did that by getting rid of an overgrown baby in pajamas. There was really no choice but to eat most of that contract. The alternative was keeping Zambrano and allowing him to fester and fume even further and negate any good vibes there might have been with a new management.

  • Jonski

    People really do amaze me Big Z was overraited lifetime numbers workout to 13-9 with a era in the low 3’s a whip that was always pretty good but heres the telling stat 833 walks versues 1547 strikeouts he benifited from high power offenses and the pitchers around him and when the offense couldn’t bail him out you found out just how shitty he was on the other hand we get a kid in Volstad that Imo was mishandled and played for a new manager and pitching coach every year and even if he becomes a bullpen pitcher we win.

  • 2much2say

    While we’re at it and if it makes anyone feel any better, why not offer 8 mil to Volstad in Arb

    • Brett

      I know what you’re saying, but he’s got two more arb years after this one – and his paychecks in 2013 and 2014 will be predicated on his 2012 salary. The Cubs want it to be as low as possible.

  • Boog

    And this is why you don’t give out no-trade clauses… Z had the Cubs by the balls on the grievance settlement because he could just invoke the no-trade clause if they didn’t pay him.

    • Brett

      You, sir, are spot on.

    • The Other Matt

      I have a feeling the Cubs won’t be giving any no-trade clauses anytime in the immediate future.

    • hansman1982

      He had 10/5 rights so any NTC he got from Hendry was a moot point.

      • Brett

        But the lesson is a very good one: with no-trade rights, you never know how a player might find a way to screw you.

      • Pat

        Not entirely. The 10 & 5 rights do not transfer if he is traded. The NTC does, so it can limit the value of the player being traded.

  • Eric

    I liked Zambrano, and I still do. I think he’s just a case of having a temper he can’t control and still being childlike in a way. But the one thing that recently hit me, is a positive for the Cubs. You remove someone from the rotation that will not be part of the future. Which opens up another spot in 2012 to audition to see what they have. An additional spot for guys like Travis Wood, Volstad, Cashner, Smardzija, heck whatever. I fully trust Theo and Sveum are gonna give the 5 guys that they truly feel confident have the most chance to reach that upside and be good for the Cubs 2012 and beyond.

  • baseballet

    If I had to pick Big Z or Big V for 2012, I’d take Big Z. But if I had to choose for the next three seasons, I’d pick Big V. It’s a win for both teams, as Z can help the Marlins go for broke in 2012 and V can help eat innings for a few years as the Cubs rebuild.

    • Joe

      Nice viewpoint. Hadn’t heard anybody talk about the down-the-road part of it. Totally agree.

  • Rooster

    BPV…sabermetrics…look beyond the ERA. Geez ppl what you expecting for Z? Maybe if they threw a new gatorade machine/cooler in the deal ppl would be less angry.

  • Boogens

    It completely sucks that Zambrano can act like such a d-bag and get away with it. I completely understand the logic of why we did what we did but it really pisses me off that we’re paying his entire salary to make him go away and he only loses $600K of his salary for his tantrum. At this point, based on the way it worked out with Zambrano, if we can get another team to take Soriano where we “only” pay $40 million of the $54 million he is owed then we need to jump on it as fast as possible.

    Last thing, I can’t understand how any Cub fan can still like or respect Zambrano. He’s a total knucklehead and nothing but a self-serving con man. It’s all about him in his little fantasy world and the Cubs really are better off for jumping off the Zambrano-go-round.

    • Joe

      I think most of us have such fond memories of the “good” years — the no-hitter and the like — that it’s hard to let go. Hard to believe that that guy and this douchenozzle are one and the same.

      I don’t exactly agree with your assessment of the man and his motivations, but I do think it was high time for him to hit the road, after his pulling some of the more classless acts we’ve ever seen at Wrigley.

  • gratefulled

    The Cubs (Theo & Co.) knew that in order to build a team into a championship contender that it was not viable to allow a player that quits when the going gets tough to return to the locker room. Words such as camaraderie, moral, and solidarity mean something to organizations that want to win.


  • Andrewmoore4isu

    Could we offer volstad 18 mill in arb pay him 18 marlins would then be forced to pay zambrano 18 and could we then not tender volstad a contract for the next year? Or if we decide to not offer volstad a contract this year who would pay z?

    • Brett

      I’m sure there are procedural stops in place between the Cubs and Marlins that would prevent that, but why would you want to? What if Volstad becomes a stud in 2012? Then you’re f’d.

      • TWC

        Even if he’s not a stud, in 2013 he would be due no less than 80% of that proposed $18m.

        • Brett

          Not if he’s non-tendered. The point is, you’d be stuck with terrible options at the end of the year unless he was god-awful.

          • loyal100more

            heres a question…though it had been long rumered that Z goes to the marlins, was there any indication that this deal was still in the works?

          • TWC

            Well, yeah, I understand that, of course.  One can never tell how much information one needs to put into a comment to make a point.

      • loyal100more

        id be willing to bet that neither player stays in they’re respective rotation all year.

        • loyal100more

          in my opinion this deal gets rid oz zambrano with a bit of compensation…. nothing more. anything else positive comes of it is a huge plus. Z had to go and though cub fans recall the good old days, please lets not loose sight of what he became… and as an orginization what we are trying to become… two very different things. so i bid Z a fond farewell, and a get the f–k outa here! at the same time…best i can do

  • Rancelot

    I see you are putting your ISU education to good use. This validates the old chant we once screamed from the rafters at Bradley-ISU basketball games: If you can’t go to school, go to State!

    Seriously, if you are trying to be funny, nobody is laughing.

    • Andrewmoore4isu

      I see you didnt use your reading

      “in other words, the Cubs will send the Marlins $18 million, less the amount Volstad makes. That way, the trade is essentially an even swap”.

      Which states if cubs pay volstad 18 million they would then have to pay zambrano 0 and the marlins would be stuck paying zambrano 18. And if the cubs cut volstad after
      One year the cubs come out even.

      As far as you talking about the “ISU” in my name, you don’t know if it is Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, or even a school. If I were to judge you by your name, which of course I wouldn’t I would determine you to be a douchebag. Also my name doesn’t say anything about me besides… Well my name. I could be 12 and you should watch how you talk to people and realize that what you say about non cubs things on a cubs blog no one really cares about so don’t waste your time. No one cares that you went to bradly, a private school where you met one women and still only get to have sex once a year.

      • Rancelot

        LOL… I pay attention to what people say on this site and I know that you stated you are within driving distance (25 minutes I believe you said) of Peoria Chiefs games, so yes, I assumed it to mean that you are located in Bloomington/Normal, hence the ISU inference that is so duely noted in your handle.

        I don’t fully comprehend the ramblings of Text Nation, so please forgive for not understanding your valuable input.

        For the record, I did not go to Bradley and how that turned into a “my member is bigger than yours and I use it on any willing orifice within reach” is beyond me.

        I apolgize if I offended you. We are all here because we have a devoted love for the Cubs…so no matter what you or I think of the current philosophies of the Ricketts/Theo/Jed regime, we all want sustained success…so, GO CUBS!!!

        • loyal100more

          LOL god i lve cubs fans!!!

        • Andrewmoore4isu

          I go to Iowa state. Our mascot is the cyclone. I’m medium build 5’7″ 162lbs and it’s all in the penis. Now you know a lot about me

          • loyal100more


          • Rancelot

            Now I know why we don’t see eye to eye…I’m a graduate of the University of Iowa. But, at least we have the Cubs. Now, enough of this cyberchat…go get yourself some!

            • loyal100more

              come on you guys were talking about carlos marmol… isnt that exciting?

          • Kansas Cubs Fan

            You penis weighs 162 pounds?

            Sound like elephantiasis. You should get that checked out, could be very harmful.

  • r c waterman

    good riddance, why didn’t they send Soriono and Marmol with him. they are all worthless.

    • loyal100more

      soriano and marmol had both keep suit cases packed.

  • rcleven

    With Zambrano gone and Kerry Wood still unsigned, there are no current Cubs remaining from the 2003 team that wound up within five outs of going to the World Series.

    How many teams still have contracts with a player that was on that team in 03?

    • loyal100more

      i think there are actually a few out there

    • Pat

      Yankees for sure with Jeter and Rivera. Konerko on the White Sox. I’m sure there are more, but your point stands. I’d bet less than half the league has a player with that much tenure.

  • Mayor1969

    Every GM out there knew we were desperate to got rid of Z. It’s astounding that TheoCo not only didn’t have to eat all $18M, but got back a guy with some upside in return. Volsted may not be Bob Gibson, but he isn’t Casey Coleman or Doug F’ing Davis either.

  • Ryan

    Marmol isn’t worthless he has a bit of value and is young enough to build some value. Soriano just has so much $ owed him I just don’t see how the Cubs other than letting him play for them or paying him to play somewhere else will get almost anything of value out of him

  • loyal100more

    unfortunatly they know we are equally desperate to get rid of soriano, well mabe not that desperate but you get the point.

  • loyal100more

    i believe if marmol is here this season… he will be back and in good form… i still have alot of faith in marmol

  • loyal100more

    this was just a bad year to try a deal a closer.

    • rcleven

      I would think there has to be some interest in Marmol. When he is on he is unhitable.

  • Tommy

    Volstad will be fine. Give him time.

    • loyal100more

      i dont spell the best, but im very on deck with your thoughts on the Z trade.

  • loyal100more

    i like big V, i like the fact that we got anything to have Z gone… amen?

  • Teri shannon

    I loved when Big Z had his rampages. They were his way of showing he cared and alot his teammates did not. He was right on when he said,”we stink”. I wish him the best and hope Volstad is a good starter……god knows we need one!

  • JR1908

    I agree with a lot, that Big Z had his good moments. But he completely bent over the Cubs in so many ways the last few years. This last trade was his last beat down on the Cubs. They have to pay his full salary because everyone knows he is a joke. And if i saw Jim Hendry on the streets i would beat his ass, and i am not even a fighter.. I am sick of everyone saying how SAD they are, that trainwreck of a person is out!! He is one of the main reasons the franchise is like it is….

  • BetterNews

    Terri, can’t agree with your comment at all. His behavior was nothing more then to promote himself. He cared nothing about the Cubs, hell he walked out on them. also, you’re saying Garza is not a good starter? What?