The rumors surronding Carlos Zambrano have been in full effect, considering that the Yankees are in town. These past couple of weeks have been filled with rumors of the Yankees eyeing Zambrano to bolster their starting rotation. Though, up to this point, many believed Zambrano had no intention of waiving his no trade clause. After speaking directly to Fox Sports, Zambrano’s wishes became clear.
In an interview with Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Zambrano made it known that he would be willing to waive his no trade clause, if the Cubs approached him with a trade.
"“If they come to me and want to trade me, obviously it’s because they don’t want me here anymore,” Zambrano told FOXSports.com. “I always say that. I’ll be here until the Cubs decide to trade me.”“I won’t be like other players with no-trade clauses and say, ‘No, I want to stay here, I want to stay here,’” Zambrano said.“I’ve heard rumors. I’ve already talked to my family. They said, ‘It’s OK. If you think it’s good for you, if you feel you want to be traded, do it.’” Fox Sports"
This should not come as a surprise to anyone. Even though it was perceived as stepping up as a team leader, Zambrano’s latest rant on the Cubs being “embarrassing” was–in my opinion–a silent wish for a trade. Zambrano may say that he wants to remain with the Cubs, but that is the politically correct thing to say. The less controversy Zambrano stirs up, the more valuable he looks to other teams. Asking for a trade, would have only caused more tension between the Cubs and Zambrano. But again, the less volatile Zambrano is, the more likely teams will be calling the Cubs asking what it would take to pry him away.
Speaking of Zambrano’s volatile nature, that may keep one team from trading for Zambrano. That team being the Yankees. For the second time in as many weeks, there is a report that says the Yankees are not as serious about trading for Zambrano as has been previously reported.
"Major-league sources, though, said Friday that the Yankees’ interest was minimal due to Zambrano’s volatile personality, declining velocity and 4.59 ERA in the National League.Zambrano’s average fastball has declined from 91.5 mph to 90.6 to 89.8 over the past three seasons, according to Fangraphs.com. Fox Sports"
The Sun-Times reported over a week ago that the Yankees did not have serious interest in Zambrano. Citing that the addition of Larry Rothschild actually lessens the chances that the Yankees would trade for Zambrano. Though, Fox Sports’ reasoning of the Yankees’ minimal interest in Zambrano makes more sense then the original Sun-Times report. Even though Zambrano has pitched well in certain spots, his overall season can be looked at as mediocre at best. Considering that Zambrano has over $30MM remaining on his contract, the Yankees may need more production from Zambrano to warrant a trade.
The Cubs have yet to set out a game plan for how they want to attack the trading deadline. At this point, the Cubs have made it known that they are not shopping any of their veteran players just yet. After taking 3 of 4 from the division leading Brewers earlier this week and winning in the series opener against the Yankees, there is renewed optimism within the Cubs organization. That can be a dangerous thing. The previous two months are the real indicator on what the Cubs are this season, and the Cubs’ front office should not put all their faith into what the Cubs have done this past week. The faster the Cubs realize that they need to start making moves for the future, the better prepared they will be for long-term success.