With Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano now willing to waive his no trade clause, many figured it would begin to clear one of many obstacles keeping the Cubs from trading Zambrano to the Yankees. However, the road to New York may now be blocked for Zambrano, despite his willingness to waive his no trade clause.
Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York reports that the Yankees have “zero interest” in trading for Zambrano. Citing Zambrano’s decline in velocity as well as his mediocre season, a Yankees official told Matthews that the rumors of the Yankees scouting Zambrano and having an interest in trading for the starting pitcher “is all BS, there is no seriousness to that.” The official went on to say that Zambrano “is not worth the money”, and the Cubs would have to pick up “most if not all” of the contract. As the official said, that won’t happen.
Even if the Cubs were to take on most of Zambrano’s contract, that will not be enough to get a deal done between the two teams. If the Cubs were to take on majority of Zambrano’s contract, they would expect to get a good package of prospects in return. Given how emphatic the Yankees official was in saying the Yankees have no interest in Zambrano, it is fair to say that the Yankees would not be willing to offer such a package.
Considering that the Cubs have yet to make Zambrano available, it would not make sense for the Yankees to come out and say that they have interest in the temperamental starter. Meaning, the right thing would be to deny any interest. By doing this, the Yankees would be avoiding any type of tampering violation, and not showing their hand in any trade negotiations with the Cubs involving Zambrano. Though, this is the third report that has taken the Yankees off the list of potential suitors for Zambrano.
The fact that the Yankees appear to be out of the possible Zambrano sweepstakes, makes it much more difficult for Cubs general manager Jim Hendry to trade Zambrano. Zambrano has been fond of the Red Sox and White Sox in years past, so, it is likely he would accept a trade to those two teams. Though, neither are in desperate need of starting pitching. However, Zambrano would be an upgrade over Tim Wakefield in the Red Sox rotation. But my feeling is that if it is not the Yankees, then it will be no team at all. Meaning Zambrano will likely remain a Cub for the rest of the season.