Carlos Zambrano has been traded! Not surprised? Me neither. Just hours after a radio interview in which president of operations Theo Epstein said, in order to stay, Zambrano would have to change and fit into the new culture. He did not end up staying very long.
In a move we saw coming for awhile, the Chicago Cubs have moved Zambrano to the Miami Marlins for 25-year-old pitcher Chris Volstad. Along with Big Z, the Marlins will also receive $15 million of the $18 million owed to the temperamental hurler. The Cubs had initially hoped to squeeze as much out of Zambrano as possible in the 2012 season and dangle him as trade bait. Once Epstein came to town, that mindset changed.
In a sign that backs up his statement that the Cubs are in complete rebuilding mode, Epstein traded a pitcher who still has the potential to dominate at times, but also distract, for a young back-of-the-rotation pitcher who won’t overwhelm anybody, but who will be under team control for a significantly cheaper price at $2.6 million. Added bonus: Volstad won’t ruffle feathers in the clubhouse.
It was long believed that Big Z would end up with the Marlins because he will be reunited with fellow countryman and close friend Ozzie Guillen, the one man perceived to be able to reign him in. You often hear about a change of scenery helping, and Zambrano is the type of player Ozzie loves and will give every chance to get back to top form.
With all of the antics Cubs fans have seen from Zambrano on the field, it will be interesting to see what happens the first time he gets irked around the giant fish tanks or horrendous home run monument.
The move was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOXsports.com and later confirmed by Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago.