Mets Should Have Moved On Carlos Zambrano

An article by posted on January 5, 2012

Thoughts by Joe D.

It looks like the Marlins have acquired Carlos Zambrano for the rock-bottom price of $1.5MM to $2.5MM depending on various reports. The Cubs will be picking up the rest of his $18 million dolar salary. Granted, Big Z is a known hot-head. He hates losing and you don’t want to be anywhere near him after a loss, but there is no doubting his ability, tenacity and endurance on the mound.

Going into last season, Zambrano had a career 3.39 ERA over nine seasons. Zambrano is a winner as his 125 W – 81 L record would attest – that’s a .607 winning percentage.

So what did the Marlins give up for Zambrano? Not much – right-hander Chris Volstad.

Volstad was drafted in 2005 a few picks after the Mets selected Mike Pelfrey. Actually, as disappointing as Pelfrey performed last season. he still outpitched Volstad. In fact Pelf’s career numbers are better than Volstad across the board.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have had a problem with the Mets going after Zambrano. I actually like guys that hate losing as much as he does. You won’t find Zambrano blasting Lady Gaga, telling jokes or playing cards in the clubhouse after a loss – and I like that. Do I condone him smashing water coolers after a bad call by the ump or calling out a teammate after committing an error on the field? No, of course not, but I’m thinking a change of scenery and impending free agency will do wonders for Zambrano.

I would have traded Pelfrey or even Dillon Gee to get a talent like this. It’s a terrific roll of the dice. The Marlins made a great deal and the Cubs did what they had to do. Zambrano was person non grata in Chicago, but watch him have a great season on a team that is flowing with enthusiasm and ready to compete for a division title in 2012.

I would have kept Zambrano from going to the Marlins if I were the Mets… Especially if all he was going to cost you was less than what you are paying Jon Rauch – and a number five starter.

The excuse that we couldn’t afford Zambrano doesn’t work here, not when you just signed Frank Francisco for $12 million dollars. You can’t just stand around with your head in the clouds while the rest of the division keeps improving.

— JD

Original Post 1/4

The Cubs have traded starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins right-handed pitcher Chris Volstad.

The Cubs will pay most of Zambrano’s $18 million contract for 2012.

The deal was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of foxsports.com and is pending physical exams for both players.

Because Zambrano has a no-trade clause, he needs to give final approval, although a source says that hurdle has basically been cleared.

It also needs approval by the commissioner’s office because of the large sum of money involved.

Zambrano, 30, went 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA in 24 starts last season. He joins a starting rotation that would include ace Josh Johnson, newly-acquired Mark Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco.

Volstad, 25, went 5-13 with 4.89 ERA in 29 starts for the Marlins in 2011.

 

 

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