The Chicago Cubs should avoid paying players to play for other teams. That makes sense and sounds simple enough. But many pundits and Cubs fans are clamoring for the front office to get rid of players that will require the team to do precisely that.
The Cubs current front office of Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer had traded away players before in which they were required to pay part of the salary of the player being traded away. But neither of those players were ones that Theo and Jed personally acquired.
One of the first things that Theo and Jed had to do when they took over the Cubs is figure out what to do with a disgruntled Carlos Zambrano. They ended up trading Zambrano away to the Florida Marlins.
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However, that trade was financially complicated. The Cubs had to agree to pay $15 million of the $18 million Zambrano was owed for the 2012 season. Zambrano had also lost $3 million for being put on the disqualified list when he left the ballpark early and said that he was retiring before the season was over. In order to get Zambrano to waive his no-trade clause, the Cubs agreed to pay him back $2.4 million of the $3 million he lost for that incident.
In 2013 the rebuilding Cubs no longer had a roster spot for Alfonso Soriano. So the Cubs traded Soriano back to the New York Yankees. As part of the trade, the Cubs agreed to pay $17.7 million of his remaining $24.4 million salary.