Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano made it clear at the end of the season that he would invoke his no trade clause if the Cubs were to approach him about a potential trade during the winter. However, Zambrano told reporters during the season that if the Cubs did want to trade him, he would then be willing to waive it. So really, we do not truly know whether or not Zambrano will invoke his no trade clause if he is involved in a trade this winter. Nonethless, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe the Chicago Cubs are willing to move the the temperamental starting pitcher.
Given that Zambrano finished the season on a an 8-0 mark in his last 10 starts, and a 11-6 with a 3.33 ERA overall he did increase his trade value from where it was earlier in the season. The sticking point will be the remaining salary on Zambrano’s contract, which is 3 years at $55MM, including a vesting option. Needless to say, the Cubs are still going to have to take on a lot of the contract. Or they may look to exchange bad contract for bad contract, much like they did with the Milton Bradley-Carlos Silva trade.
Speaking of which, the Chicago Tribune brought up an interesting trade scenariotoday courtesy of Phil Rogers…
"One potential trading partner for the Cubs if they decide to shop Carlos Zambrano — the Red Sox, possibly for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is owed only $10 million for each of the next two seasons. …"
I have to admit I am intrigued by the idea of trade centering around Carlos Zambrano and Daisuke Matsuzaka. In a way, it is almost similar to the Milton Bradley trade the Chicago Cubs made last year. You trade your problem player, for another team’s problem player. And, that is not to essentially say that Matsuzaka is problem player, it is more so the lack of living up to his expectations in Boston.
Financially wise Daisuke has two years left on his deal at about $10MM per year. Whereas mentioned above Zambrano has three years at $55MM. So the two sided would still have determine how they would split the difference between the two contracts.
One of the biggest issues with Matsuzaka is his ability to consistently throw strikes, and not let as many walks as he does. This year with the Red Sox he was 9-6 in 25 starts with an ERA of 4.69 while striking out 133, and walking 74. But even with the high amount of walks, he still can eat a lot of innings as a starter. Which is what the Chicago Cubs need to find this Winter, a starter who is capable of going deep into games on a consistent basis. Also moving from the American League East to the National League Central, Daisuke’s numbers would figure to improve.
I guess the biggest reason I am in support of trading Zambrano, is because I do not think he can repeat his finish to the 2010 season for the entire 2011 season. I just do not have the confidence in him that he can be a dominant pitcher in the Cubs rotation, and plus I’m not entirely sure he can keep his anger in check for the entire season. It is because of this uncertainty that the Chicago Cubs should look to trade Carlos Zambrano this winter.