Results tagged ‘ Carlos Zambrano ’
The Cubs traded Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins on Thursday. Could Alfonso Soriano be next to go? According to reports, the Orioles were one of a few American League teams who talked to the Cubs about a possible deal involving Soriano. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Thursday the Cubs could not find a match for the outfielder after talking to a few teams. Soriano, who turns 36 on Saturday, is owed $54 million over the final three years of his contract.
On Thursday, Theo Epstein was asked about Soriano, and said the outfielder is still a valuable offensive player and that it’s up to the Cubs to get the best out of him.
— Carrie Muskat
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports Wednesday a source told him the Cubs are trying to get the Yankees to take Carlos Zambrano, and offering money to offset his salary. However, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports said the Yankees’ reply was: No interest. The Cubs would have to get Big Z’s approval because he has a full no-trade clause. Zambrano is signed through 2012 plus a vesting option for 2013. He’s being paid $17.875 million this year, and is owed $18 million in 2012. The 2013 option is for $19.25 million. He will become a 10-and-5 player in early August. Zambrano (7-5, 4.70 ERA) is scheduled to start Wednesday at Miller Park against the Brewers. He’s won his last seven decisions at Miller Park and has a 2.40 ERA there. That stretch includes his no-hitter Sept. 14, 2008, against the Astros.
— Carrie Muskat
Now the starting-pitching market is really dry.
Teams still looking for quality, front-line starters (i.e., the Yankees) now have to get much more creative, because Matt Garza — seemingly the last big-name arm for the taking, if you buy into recent reports — appears headed to Chicago. The Rays dealt Garza, who was in his second year of arbitration and would receive a raise from his $3.35 million salary, to the Cubs in exchange for five Minor Leaguers on Friday.
Club officials haven’t confirmed the deal, but sources told MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat that the framework is in place for the Cubs to send 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Chris Archer, 2010 Player of the Year Brandon Guyer (an outfielder), shortstop Hak-Ju Lee, catcher Robinson Chirinos and outfielder Sam Fuld.
The Cubs would also get two Minor Leaguers from the Rays, and according to the Daily Herald, one of those is outfielder Fernando Perez, who played in 107 Minor League games this past season.
The Rays had a surplus of starting pitchers — with David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann and James Shields also in the fold — and could afford to deal one, though trading a guy like Garza always hurts. With Garza, the Cubs appear to be premier contenders in a stacked National League Central. He’ll be added to a rotation that includes Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny and Carlos Silva.
Here’s more from around the league …
* When Adrian Beltre signed with the Rangers, closer Rafael Soriano instantly became the best free agent left in the open market. The question is: Where does he fit? FOXSports.com speculated that the Angels are the ideal fit, but added that the Rangers and White Sox — unless the price goes way down — are not going after the American League leader in saves. Other than that, not much seems to have materialized yet.
* The Yankees, meanwhile, have been rumored to be interested in Soriano as a setup man, but ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported via his Twitter account that as of Thursday night, the Yanks weren’t interested. The fact general manager Brian Cashman told the Journal News he isn’t willing to surrender any first-round Draft picks makes the signing of Soriano (a Type A free agent) seem even more unlikely.
* Speaking of the Yankees, Andy Pettitte told The New York Post from his home that he’s still not sure whether he’ll retire or come back. “I’m just chilling out, hanging,” he told the newspaper. “I’m relaxing. If I had something, y’all would know. If I knew exactly what I was doing, y’all would know.” Pettitte continues to stress that the Yankees should move on and not worry about him, and the organization has said just that. But it sure does seem like they need him.
* All-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman is “leaning towards retiring,” Jon Heyman of SI.com and MLB Network reported via Twitter. The 43-year-old right-hander had a 5.89 ERA and 10 saves with the Brewers in 2010, giving him 601 saves for his probable Hall of Fame career.
* In other news, former Royals starter Brian Bannister will pitch in Japan this season; the Rangers designated right-hander Guillermo Moscoso for assignment; and longtime Twins executive Jerry Bell retired.
— Alden Gonzalez
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday that the Cubs were “close” to acquiring Rays right-hander Matt Garza. That was news to the Cubs. ESPN’s Buster Olney also cited a “well-placed source” Wednesday morning as saying the Rays are more likely to deal Garza this summer. My Tampa sources say the same thing. The Rays are waiting for a team to blow them away with players in exchange and the Cubs don’t want to give up someone like Andrew Cashner or Starlin Castro. The Rays may change their mind around the trading deadline. The Cubs do have depth in the rotation with Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny and Carlos Silva. Garza would definitely give the Cubs a boost and help counter moves made this offseason by the Brewers. But Chicago doesn’t want to give up its young talent.
— Carrie Muskat
The New York Post reports the Mets have inquired about Cubs pitcher Tom Gorzelanny. The lefty made $800,000 last year, and will receive a raise through arbitration but would still be a fairly economical addition. Gorzelanny was 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 29 games (23 starts) last season with Chicago. You can never have enough pitching, but the Cubs do have a surplus with Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Randy Wells, Carlos Silva, plus up and coming youngsters such as Casey Coleman, Chris Carpenter, Chris Archer and Thomas Diamond.
— Carrie Muskat
An interesting note this morning out of SI.com, which reported that the Mets attempted to swap much-maligned lefty Oliver Perez to the Cubs for equally-maligned right-hander Carlos Zambrano. The sticking point, according to the report, was the Mets’ insistence that the Cubs also take on the contract of second baseman Luis Castillo.
Though the deal did not happen, the web site also reported that Mets manager Jerry Manuel is refusing to pitch Perez at home in New York. According to SI.com, the Mets again plan on asking Perez to accept a Minor League assignment — something he refused to do earlier this season.
Carlos Zambrano says he would waive his no-trade clause if the Cubs asked. There are reports that the Mets have inquired about the right-hander, who wants to get back in the rotation.
“I want to stay [with the Cubs],” Zambrano said Friday, “but I understand this is a business and whatever the Cubs want me to do — if they think I’m a problem here and they want to move me, it’s sad that I would move if they think I’m the problem,.”
What if Cubs GM Jim Hendry asked Zambrano to waive his no-trade clause?
“If they come to me and say they want to trade me, I would say, ‘Yes,'” Zambrano said. “If they ask me, ‘Hey, we want to trade you,’ I wouldn’t say no. I would say ‘yes’ because obviously when they put something on the table, it’s because they don’t want you or they think there are better players and they need to move you.”
Does Zambrano need a fresh start somewhere else?
“It’s up to me,” he said. “It’s up to me to behave myself to be good on the field to be smart and to change things around.”
However, FoxSports.com reports Saturday that the Mets offer of Perez and Castillo for Zambrano never had a chance and Big Z will not be moved.
— Carrie Muskat
It’s decision day for the Cubs. The trading deadline is 2 p.m. MT. FoxSports.com says there are still four teams — the Dodgers, Twins, Tigers and Yankees — who are pursuing Ted Lilly. The lefty prepped on Friday as he normally would for his next start, which would be Monday at Wrigley Field.
“Teddy wants to stay here but he knows the game of baseball and he knows that something could happen,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. “It’s good to see they want to stay here. That speaks well.”
Lilly is trying to focus on pitching.
“We’re near the end of July and I only have three wins,” said the lefty, who is 3-8 with a 3.69 ERA. “I really want more than that.
“It doesn’t settle so well,” he said. “I’ve got 18 starts and I’ve got three wins. It’s bothersome. That’s what I’m here for is to go out and try to win.”
There’s also been some interest in Ryan Theriot, whose phone was loaded with messages from people, including his agent, wondering if he was pulled from Friday’s game because a deal had been made. It was simply a double switch. The Denver Post reported the D-backs have talked to the Cubs about a possible Theriot for Kelly Johnson swap.
Less than 24 hours after he was activated from the restricted list, Carlos Zambrano also is getting some action. Big Z told reporters Friday in Denver that he would consider waiving his no trade clause if the Cubs wanted to move him. According to SI.com, the Mets offered Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo for Zambrano but the Cubs said no. Big Z still has a lot of money remaining on his contract ($6.4 million this year; $17.9 million in 2011; $18 million in 2012).
— Carrie Muskat
Cubs pitcher Ted Lilly is 0-2 in his last four starts with a 6.57 ERA yet the lefty apparently is on a lot of teams’ lists as the trading deadline approaches. ESPN.com is reporting at least six teams are interested in Lilly and said the only certainty is that the left-hander will be dealt by July 31. Lilly, who will be a free agent at the end of this season, is 3-8 with a 3.88 ERA and has gotten the worst run support of any pitcher in the Major Leagues. He did not get a decision in his last start Wednesday against the Astros, giving up one run on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings. That run came on Pedro Feliz’s pinch-hit homer. Lilly has served up 19 homers in 111 1/3 innings so far; he gave up 22 in 177 innings last year. He’ll need a big ballpark.
After Wednesday’s game, Lilly was asked about the possibility of being traded.
“I’m not going to put a whole lot into that,” Lilly said. “I’ve said this before, I’ve got my hands full trying to win games.”
Would he want to pitch for a team in the race?
“Definitely, and first and foremost, you’d like to do that here,” he said of the Cubs. “It’s going to be tough.”
Yes it will. The Cubs are 11 games back in the NL Central.
“There’s a lot of speculation and rumors that are thrown out there,” Lilly said. “They don’t necessarily mean that something is going to happen.”
Also, ESPN.com’s sources say the Cubs will try to deal Carlos Zambrano and the $35.875 million remaining on his contract this winter. One unidentified American League official was quoted as saying the determining factor will be how much of Zambrano’s salary the Cubs are willing to absorb. Zambrano is on the restricted list after his dugout tantrum June 25 but was slated to pitch in relief Thursday night for Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs’ Opening Day starter was not expected to rejoin the team until July 30 in Colorado.
— Carrie Muskat