Z Traded to Marlins

Pending physicals and the commish offices approval, the Cubs will send Carlos Zambrano and $15M to the Marlins for RHP Chris Volstad.

More to come later tonight when I get a moment.


Make it 130 losses

~sad horn~


Was there ever any resolution to the 30 day suspension without pay situation? Did the MLBPA get a judgement?

At least our new pitcher could probably kick our old pitcher's ass. 6'8" 230 lbs? That's like 15% more pitcher!

I have seen Z up close, when interviewing him. Rest assured Chris Volstad would never kick Z's ass.

farnsworth vs. Z vs. volstad @ wrigley field...IN A STEEL CAGE.


Throw Michael Barrett in there as the token patsy

Michael Barrett = Leapin Lanny Poffo

i still remember the farnsworth takedown of ... was it jeremy affeldt? that was pretty funny. IIRC, Farnsy picked up Affedlt and just slammed him, and Affeldt's no small dude.

Paul Wilson.

Yeah, that was the balls.

nah, I was thinking of Farns/Affeldt. This was when he was with Detroit. Googled it was just to make sure that it existed, but he stormed out of the pen in a fight, and when things were cooling down, he picked up Affeldt and slammed him into the ground.

The Wilson one was a good one as well though. Farnsy's been in his fair share of intriguing fights I guess. Watching the Wilson video right now, what the hell was Wilson thinking? Heck, everyone knew Farnsy's rep as an emotional (to say the least) guy, and he was jawing with Farnsy only a couple feet away. It wasn't even a typical Farnsy bad pitch - just looked like the pitch got away from him.

There's a video of the Farns/Affeldt thing from a fan in the stand on youtube. Don't see too much, but around the 2:08 mark is when Farnsy escalated things.

As a side note, glad to see Farnsy is still going strong. Strange to think that he's been one of the better arms from those mid-90's drafts. His control has sharpened as he's gotten older.

Totally agree, was always a HUGE Kyle fan

volstad is in transition as a pitcher.

okay, he "only" has a low 90s fastball (90-92, usually), but he's got a decent curve and a decent slider...and a change. he's starting to use (and therefore hang) his slider more. he's also getting better at hitting the strike zone, though that's not always been a positive thing. i would not get bent out of shape about what he did last season in the majors or minors.

imo...if the guy can help himself from being a 30+HR-given-up pitcher he can put up some respectable mid-rotation numbers...and he's got 3 years of club control.

If/once Garza is traded, who has the inside edge for the #2 starter: Wells, T-Wood or Volstad? This could possibly be the worst starting rotation in the majors.

Collecting young #5 starters under club control appears to be replacing collecting second basemen.

i sure as hell hope they are done collecting guys like wood/volstad at this point...especially with randy wells still around (who i don't mind as much as some) and cashner still having a lot to prove as far as his "ace potential" goes.

they got 3+ solid middle/end-rotation starting options for years who happen to be mlb-ready now.

if garza's going next it's time to bulk up the bats or find a 2013-sure-thing top rotation SP, imo.

Since there is little chance Z will be on the team in 2013 and they are not likely to get draft pick compensation, it seems the Cubs turned a short term asset (which has little value to them) into a long term asset.

You use the term "asset" loosely. Volstad is a #5 pitcher. So we turned 1 year of a #3 into a couple of a #5.

The one year of Zambrano has little value to the Cubs, unless you see value in finishing fourth instead of fifth.

It'll be two years before Jedstin can field a competitive team anyway, so two years of Volstd for one of Z is worth shaking the headache imo...
Also in two years, Joey Votto is a 30 year old free agent... No chance the Reds can keep him. He might be just the right guy at just the right time and he fits the Jedstein mold. Fuck Fielder, give Pena a two year deal and wait for Votto.

Why mess with Pena? All he does is throw a wrench in operation 70M.

When the Zambrano deal was bruited yesterday, you dropped your payroll estimate from $80 to $70 million. Apparently you thought the trade would net the Cubs the difference, around $10 million. The actual net is something like $1 or $1.5 million.

In theory, the Cubs could have let the Marlins keep Volstad and taken a low-minors prospect instead, and saved some millions. That way, they wouldn't have had to sell off the copper piping in the men's room to reach the $70 million target.

Isn't dumping salary more important than getting a rotation starter in return for Z?

Why the hell should I care about about dumping Z's salary?

You seem to care about the payroll amount as though it shares a direct correlation with the number of wins the team will have. This must be the reason that you constantly bitch about the payroll going down. I understand why VA Phil made his comment.

I'm just frustrated by the fact that we are punting a season for no apparent reason. I think a big market team should act like a big market team.

Either way, I'll get over it.

It's just going to make following the Cubs a pointless exercise in 2012.

I'll tell you how I plan to get through the season:
1) Minor League Box Scores
2) June Draft/International Signings
3) Trade Deadline

And of course the whitty banter at TCR!

Volstad's estimated salary arbitration number is 2.6M and Cubs are allegedly paying $15M of Z's contracts (although some reports say between 15 and 16M). My guess is it's $15.4M and essentially the Cubs are saving nothing on the deal.

Why can't Jedstein field a competitive team for two years? I've heard the statement a few times, but it makes no sense.

The Cubs have $70 million coming off the books over the next year ($20 in 2011, $50 in 2012). That's more money than 10 teams spent on their entire major league payroll in 2011. If JedStein can't build a competitive team with that much money then they probably don't deserve to have their jobs.

And who knows what might happen with Votto in a couple of years. He could be extended, accept arb, be traded and then extended, break his neck, etc. Counting on him being available in two years is just wishful thinking at this point.

The issue isn't whether they could throw some money at a few vets and make some token run at the playoffs. It's whether you want go through the yo-yo cycle of Hendry of boom or bust or do you want a sustained level of success of never winning less than 86 games as Theo did in Boston.

Sure, they could have maybe squeezed all those players into their budget that AZ Phil suggested in the WWJHD post, which I have my doubts they could have fit in their payroll, but I have bigger doubts on expecting Beltran, Ramirez, Soriano, etc to stay healthy and then you'd be stuck in more bad deals.

You have to trust a little that they have a plan and they should be allowed to execute it.

The plan is a $70 million payroll, losing 120 games and being the Royals. Pay attention, Rob.


If I got this right, with Z gone and Kerry Wood unsigned as yet there's only 6 Cubs left who played on the 2008 team: Dempster, Marmol, Wells, Samardzija, Soto, and Soriano.

reed johnson earned his loot in 08

Enjoy it while you can, I think it's likely that only Ninja and maybe Dempster are still here come August 2012. The more interesting observation is, which of this group is still here come April 2012?

Our current slotting of pitchers reminds me of the pitching staff the year after Greg Maddux left for Atlanta (he was with the Braves in 1993). It was a rotation without a #1 and Mike Morgan was supposed to step up. The 1993 Cubs did win 84 games though so I guess the net results will probably be much better from that staff. I'm assuming Garza isn't getting traded since the market seems to be rapidly thinning.

1993 Cubs rotation:
Mike Morgan (starts 32); 10-15
Jose Guzman (starts 30); 12-10
Greg Hibbard (starts 31); 15-11
Mike Harkey (starts 28); 10-10
Frank Castillo (starts 25); 5-8

2012 Cubs rotation (as of January 2012):
Matt Garza (as Morgan)
Ryan Dempster (as Guzman)
Travis Wood (as Hibbard)
Chris Volstadt (as Harkey)
Randy Wells (as Castillo)

I realize at best Zambrano hasn't been more than a #3 starter for awhile so I don't consider our staff that much worse without him. But looking at the current starting staff, it won't look as ugly if they can get a #1 sometime in the next 2-3 seasons. Not sure how that happens unless this season's draft pick at #6 can select the next David Price/Mark Prior near ready college ace who needs just a short amount of seasoning in the minors (or the 2013 draft's #1-2 pick comes our way due to the current asset reallocation strategy).

Reminds me more of the 1994 version.

Anthony Young
Kevin Foster
Mike Morgan

Maybe this is the year that Marwin Gonzalez becomes a star?

tough to see that level of power development for Marwin in one off-season. Not impossible, after all, Casey McGehee had a sudden surge, but tough to see it happen. A couple years down the line, perhaps.

That said, I think Marwin is going to have a good chance to win the Astros starting shortstop job.

over Lowrie?

Well...when Lowrie gets hurt then?

i completely forgot they dealt for Lowrie.

Edit: Their third base situation is pretty ugly. Not so sure that, at some point in the year, that Marwin at short and Jed at 3rd wouldn't be the best defensive and offensive combination. Anyhow, yeah, totally blanked on the Melancon trade when I typed that.

I would throw Cashner's name in there too as a wild card. Honestly have no idea what to expect of him this season but it could be a lot better than just bullpen filler.

Quick question for Phil or anyone else aware of the details:

Even though it is very unlikely Z will finish in the top 4 Cy Young voting for 2012, if he did, is it not the case that now Florida lives with that possible outcome and the Cubs are totally off the hook?

Most likely, although Marlins may ask Z to waive option as part of the trade.

Wed, 01/04/2012 - 10:10pm — Jim Hickmans Bat

Z 2013 obligation

Quick question for Phil or anyone else aware of the details:

Even though it is very unlikely Z will finish in the top 4 Cy Young voting for 2012, if he did, is it not the case that now Florida lives with that possible outcome and the Cubs are totally off the hook?


JIM H: The Cubs could agree in advance to pay all or part of any potential vesting option, but the new team (the Marlins) would normally be on the hook for 100% of the 2013 $19.25M vesting player-option should Big Z qualify for it and exercise the option.

Also, if the player-option does not vest, or if it does vest and Zambrano does not exercise his 2013 $19.25M player option, the Marlins could choose to offer Zambrano a one-year guaranteed contract for 2013 with a salary equal to the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players in MLB in 2012 (which this year would have been about $12M) even though it would be more than a 20% cut from his 2012 salary, and if Zambrano declines the contract offer and signs a major league contract with another MLB club for 2013, the Marlins would get a compensation pick between the 1st & 2nd rounds in the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

So in effect, the Marlins could end up getting a Supplemental 1st round draft pick in 2013 in return for getting one year of Zambrano for around $3M (essentially the same salary they would have had to pay Chris Volstad, who is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time this off-season).

If the Cubs DID agree to cover some of Z's potential vesting option though, wouldn't that info have been included in the announcement? The absence of any such info leads to the conclusion that the Cubs are indeed off the hook here.

As for the Marlins, seems unlikely they'd play things as deep as you suggest Phil, but you are right--that would be pretty damn savvy to turn in essence Chris Volstad (who was rumored to be non-tender candidate anyway) into a supplemental 1st rounder for free, with a free year of Zambrano's services as a bonus. Nice job by the Marlins here.

"a supplemental 1st rounder for free"

Well, let's see what kind of year Z has. He might accept the $12MMish offer for a year in 2013.

I'd venture that if Z is good enough to be a top 3 Cy Young pitcher. He will be worth that option. I would also guess that he would decline that option and try to pull himself a multi-year deal.

I can't wait to see who else will go in the firesale!!!! No doubt Joe Ricketts is the proudest papa in all of Chicago land right now. We are seeing record profits for the Ricketts clan in 2012!!!!!!!!

We will see record low attendance if they keep this up.

I'll take that bet

"firesale," etc.

You understand that Z is not off the payroll, that they're still paying him, right?

I for one am sad. I'm sure most people are happy to see him go (even if Vulvastad isn't much of a prize). Despite his, uh, quirks, Z was one of my favorite Cubs (seeing him attempt leg out a triple in spring training only to slip and fall on his ass was a shining moment) and I hate to see him end his career with another team.

Thu, 01/05/2012 - 12:25am — The Joe

I for one am sad. I'm sure most people are happy to see him go (even if Vulvastad isn't much of a prize). Despite his, uh, quirks, Z was one of my favorite Cubs (seeing him attempt leg out a triple in spring training only to slip and fall on his ass was a shining moment) and I hate to see him end his career with another team.


THE JOE: Carlos Zambrano is one of the nicest guys I've ever met.

He used to organize games at Fitch Park during the off-season for MLB and minor league players who live in the Phoenix area ("Z" was the DH), and he spent a lot of time riding his bicycle up & down Center Street and hanging with the Cubs minor leaguers at Fitch Park during Spring Training, taking BP and sometimes DH-ing in minor league ST games when he wasn't scheduled to pitch in a Cactus League game.

Baseball was not Zambrano's favorite sport, though. I think he likes soccer and boxing more than baseball.

That's how I picture him. Yeah, he did some stupid shit, but he always seemed like a good guy who loves baseball. I hate to see him Hendried out of town.

Agree with JoePhil. Big Z has been one of my favorite players since his first year. Hate it ended like it did...

I think Theo & co are doing an amazing job! I love Z and think he'll have a great year in Fla. Change of scenery is all he needs, new blood around him, not being big dog Etc.

But back to Theo. picture being hired to come to a floundering business and being tasked with not just getting it on its feet, but making it The Best. Big distinction!

You are not gonna mortgage your future with mid-long term contracts to "the best employees available" you are gonna want the best there is. You cannot accomplish this without some form of discerning patience. Plus the business you took over had painful few assets and a lot of veteran employees taking long lunches and collecting a paycheck, despite their diminishing skills and the company's complete failure on the market! Top reasons why things look the way they do right now:

1.) you don't want to fill roster spots with players who don't fit your model, just cause they are good and available.

2.) you don't want to block positions where your likely to need an upgrade to be a champion. Especially via free agency in which you over pay on returns.

3.) you don't want to over pay for peak years on players before your system is ready to peak (Fielder obviously, and likely Garza too).

4.) you don't want to deplete your assets to acquire players via trade when you have too many spots to fill and precious few assets.

5.) you have no control over who is a free agent, who you inherited when you took the job, and to some degree who is available via trade.

I know none of this is groundbreaking, but it's important to see it laid out. I respect Theo for taking the job and for holding firm to an overhaul. We want to be the BEST, not pretty good, or marketable, or 'fun' for fans. We've had that for years and we all know how that is going with regards to the WS bottom line.

I choose to believe and have every reason to believe that Ricketts and Theo want their legacy to be of the Championship variety. To those of you who believe there is any other motive or incompetency at play, I really think you are mistaken. Theo knows more than any of us about being a GM and not only that - but - each of his moves are making sense in the context of building a long term winner. I don't believe you can compete now and build a gold star organization at once, given the state of the organization when he came here. I think that is dreaming.

All that said I think this team will be fun to watch AND outperform last year's team by the time it is assembled for opening day 2012.

are you retarded?

that seemed harsh, let's tone down the insults.

"All that said I think this team will be fun to watch AND outperform last year's team by the time it is assembled for opening day 2012."

question stands

to each their own...

let's see what the team is on Opening Day 2012 before passing judgement on superjimmer's rather optimistic view.

regardless if you disagree, be nicer about it next time.

Yeah knock it off you aholes!

(searches for banning stick)

For the record (literally) 72 victories is still not necessarily a watershed moment. I couldn't watch last year's team - gonna be hard to be less interesting than 2011 Cubs.

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  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 42 min 6 sec ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 54 min 22 sec ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 1 hour 3 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 1 hour 8 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 1 hour 27 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 2 hours 3 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 2 hours 22 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 2 hours 40 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 2 hours 47 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 3 hours 43 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 4 hours 1 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 4 hours 5 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 5 hours 15 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 5 hours 54 min ago view
  • Per FanGraphs, Cubs have a 72.5% chance of winning today. Jinx! Next highest percentage on today's games is D-backs with a 64.7% chance (Greinke vs. Cesar Vargas, in Arizona.)

    Transmission 5 hours 54 min ago view