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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Robothal: Big Z Headed to Miami

What could possibly go wrong?

The Marlins, seeking to make another offseason splash, are close to acquiring Cubs right-hander Carlos Zambrano, according to major-league sources.
...
Zambrano is owed $18 million in the final year of his contract. The Cubs likely will pay most of that sum to purge Big Z, whom they placed on the restricted list in 2010 and disqualified list in ’11 due to issues with his temperament.

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 04, 2012 at 06:52 PM | 116 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, miami

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   101. Brian C Posted: January 05, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4029767)
And in all probability Volstad won't be in Chicago for the 2013 season. Well, not unless Theo wants to punt that season as well and doesn't mind giving Volstad 6 million dollars to help him punt it.

But so what? How is that an argument against this deal?
   102. McCoy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4029875)
Keep Carlos and it costs you the full freight minus any month long suspension (worst case scenario). Keep Carlos he plays well and you trade him during the season for a Volstad for next year or possibly more and probably don't have to eat the entire salary.

Trade Carlos now and you pay full freight and perhaps pay someone like Volstad who is easily replaceable 6 million dollars or non-tender him and get a replacement pitcher. Either way there is no point in pulling the trigger now on this deal.
   103. Brian C Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:14 PM (#4029883)
Keep Carlos he plays well and you trade him during the season for a Volstad for next year or possibly more and probably don't have to eat the entire salary.

I don't understand - if we keep Carlos, if they're lucky we can trade him for a Volstad type later? What sense does that make? They traded him for Volstad now, and don't have to worry about Carlos losing his brain again.

Your criticism seems to be about salary, but what difference does it make? They're paying Carlos either way. So maybe if things break right, they save a few million down the road. Big deal. They're not going to miss that money in any scenario that you outline. I'm sure Hoystein thought it was worth that just do get it over with now and not take the risk on a guy they clearly had diagnosed as an irredeemable headcase.
   104. McCoy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:26 PM (#4029892)
I don't understand - if we keep Carlos, if they're lucky we can trade him for a Volstad type later? What sense does that make? They traded him for Volstad now, and don't have to worry about Carlos losing his brain again.

You missed what I said. Trade him during the season for a guy who could be a Volstad for 2013. Right now they traded Carlos for a Volstad in 2012. Is this Volstad likely to be around in 2013? Doubtful or will be here at about 6 million dollars.
   105. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:38 PM (#4029904)
I'm still sitting out these endless and repetitive conversations, but wow, Theo had some extensive comments today:

"With respect to subsidizing some of Carlos' contract, I think the concept of a sunk cost was something Tom (Ricketts) and I discussed at our very initial meeting," Epstein said. "Tom showed a keen understanding of what that means. For better or worse, if you're stuck paying $18 million for one year of Carlos Zambrano, and there is not a team willing to take him with any dollar relief whatsoever, then you have to decide were we better off with one year of Carlos at the $18 million paid, or are we better off paying the $18 million and getting a 25-year-old pitcher with three control years?"

"I was skeptical," he said, adding: "I'm not big on labels, I'm not big on reputations dictating how I treat people or how I think about people. But this was one that was really consistent. Every player I talked to articulated to me that Carlos really violated their trust. When you're talking about physical altercations with players repeatedly, when you're talking about physically walking out on the team, it's very hard to then have that player come back into the clubhouse and be trusted. In order to be a good teammate, there has to be a certain degree of trust and accountability.

"Do I believe in second chances? Yes. Do I believe in third chances? Yes, in some cases, and even fourth chances. But I think you have to be realistic about it and recognize that players don't dictate decisions like this, but you're trying to establish a certain sense of unity in the clubhouse, and a sense of purpose. ... The players here felt, and the organization feels, like there just wasn't trust there, and it was a risky proposition to see whether that trust could be re-established."

Epstein said there was no "mandate" from Ricketts to deal Zambrano, and that Zambrano told him during their meeting at a Wrigleyville restaurant that he wanted to remain a Cub.

"He said he didn't want to talk about a trade," he said. "He didn't want us to use that word in the discussions. I said, 'That's fine, but just so you know, that's something I think it's our obligation to pursue that, and then we'll have another conversation if and when that becomes a reality.' We weren't able to find any trade partners until this week, so that went on hold."

Epstein declined to say if any players he spoke to believed Zambrano could eventually work his way back into their graces. He said "people that have been around the situation over the years had heard before there was going to be change, they'd heard before there was going to be a new attitude, and they've been burned -- physical altercations, deserting the team, that type of thing. ... It made it clear in my mind this wasn't just a sort of mob mentality, or there was unfair momentum to run this guy out of town."
   106. Brian C Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:40 PM (#4029906)
You missed what I said. Trade him during the season for a guy who could be a Volstad for 2013

Fine, but Volstad in 2012 vs. a Volstad type in 2013 is a very marginal upgrade in return for the risk involved, considering that we're talking replacement level anyway, especially if they're not as willing to punt 2013 as they are 2012. It's not hard to understand why the Cubs would rather trade him now, get a guy who will probably be worse than Z but might not be, and not worry about the cash (which they'd pay most or all of no matter what) or the headaches. Plus, there's every reason to think that ownership was 100% on board with the deal, so it's not like that's an issue either. I don't blame them for just doing it if they didn't want to deal with Z.
   107. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:45 PM (#4029910)
For the record - I am NOT Theo Epstein.... I just play him in threads.
   108. Swedish Chef Posted: January 05, 2012 at 06:52 PM (#4029916)
Epstein or others used to leak that stuff as a "well-informed source in the Red Sox clubhouse", maybe Cashman has taught him the joy of the objective pipe?
   109. McCoy Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:00 PM (#4029920)

Fine, but Volstad in 2012 vs. a Volstad type in 2013 is a very marginal upgrade in return for the risk involved, considering that we're talking replacement level anyway, especially if they're not as willing to punt 2013 as they are 2012.


I can't see how they won't be punting 2013 at this point.
   110. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4029923)
Epstein or others used to leak that stuff as a "well-informed source in the Red Sox clubhouse", maybe Cashman has taught him the joy of the objective pipe?


Maybe someone needs to get Z a good bag of objective...
   111. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 05, 2012 at 07:40 PM (#4029938)
Upton 2016 (he'll be 28)


I wonder if the Cubs will pursue BJ next offseason. He's flawed enough that he probably won't command a huge deal but he's still young (this will be his age 27 season) and has been worth around 4 WAR in four of the last five years.
   112. Joe Kehoskie Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4029990)
I don't follow the Cubs very closely, but their passivity this offseason has been surprising. As much as the FA market tends to be overpriced, teams like the Cubs and Astros have almost no chance of drafting and developing their way out of such deep holes.

There's been a lot written about Ricketts, the Cubs' debt load, etc. I wonder if Ricketts was five or six years late in trying that old saber theory that a smart owner wouldn't need a big payroll if he was willing to pay big money to hire two or three really smart bb ops minds.

Obviously, process is important, but there seem to be some big disconnects between the rumored or reported salaries of some front offices (e.g., Cubs and Mets) and the resources allocated to those front offices.
   113. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 05, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4029997)
That's a good enough explanation for me.
   114. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4030042)
Bruce Levine is reporting that the Cubs have talked with eight AL teams about Soriano. I'm thinking the odds of Dempster finishing the season a Cub are next to zero. It also seems Garza is likely to be moved since he can actually get value in return.

So if the Cubs trade were to also trade Carlos Marmol (which I don't see as a longshot proposition), the highest paid player on the roster at the end of 2012 could be David Dejesus at $4.25 million (although it's almost certain to be Soto once his arb is taken care of).
   115. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: January 05, 2012 at 10:47 PM (#4030054)
Bruce Levine is reporting that the Cubs have talked with eight AL teams about Soriano. I'm thinking the odds of Dempster finishing the season a Cub are next to zero. It also seems Garza is likely to be moved since he can actually get value in return.


Heh - I know I'm close to the only one, but I'm enjoying the hell out of this.

It's really like an OOTP game come to life! Turn over the whole roster in one year! Even Dallas Green needed three years to do that.

If he finds a taker for Soriano, even at at say -- sending 90% of the salary along, I'll be amazed.
   116. Something Other Posted: January 06, 2012 at 07:56 PM (#4030871)
I think if an AL team with an opening at LF or 1B can take a crack at a one and a half win player like Soriano for 3/5.4 they'd be unwise not to.
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