If the Chicago Cubs were ever going to trade starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano, this season would be an ideal one. The Cubs have a plethora of young starting pitchers that will soon be ready for the major leagues, meaning they will soon need to create the necessary openings in their starting rotation. Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano appear to be the most likely trade candidates if the Cubs decideto shop one of their starting pitcher before the trade deadline. Dempster loves the Chicago atmosphere and is a big influence when it comes to Cubs’ charities and other community programs. Not to mention, Dempster has 10-5 rights that allow him to veto any trade he is involved in.
While the Cubs would have to absorb a lot of money on Zambrano’s contract, he is likely the best trade candidate for the Cubs if they decide to trade a pitcher from their rotation. Considering Dempster has every intention of remaining in Chicago with the Cubs, general manager Jim Hendry may have an easier time trying to convince Zambrano to waive his no trade clause. There have been whispers before that Zambrano would be willing to waive his no trade clause if it meant going to the Yankees, Red Sox, or White Sox.
Of those three teams, the Yankees figure to be the team most interested in Zambrano. While Zambrano has always been a member of the Chicago Cubs, the past few seasons have connected him to the Yankees in various trade rumors. As recently as last winter the Yankees were believed to be trying to pull off a trade for Zambrano. With former Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild now holding the same position with the Yankees. Zambrano would be a logical trade target if the Yankees seek to improve their starting pitching this season. According to Jon Heyman, that may be the case if the Cubs fall out of contention before the trade deadline.
Trading Zambrano would be an ideal option for the Cubs. Granted they would still have to absorb most of the remaining salary on Zambrano’s contract, it still would give the Cubs to opportunity to add depth to their farm system. The starting pitching trade market is already thin this season. If Zambrano were to hit the trade block, he would easily be the best option on the market. Putting the Cubs in a good position, as that would force desperate teams to overpay with prospects if they are in need of a starting pitcher. Similar to last season, when the Cubs were shopping Ted Lilly to teams that were in need of starting pitching.
While Zambrano has been impressive both on and off the field–which is no small feat when it comes to Zambrano, it would still be in the best interest for the Cubs to trade the temperamental pitcher if the opportunity arises. Teams would be interested in Zambrano considering he has pitched well this season and regained his top of the rotation form. Though, the question remains how much money would the Cubs absorb?