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Epstein: Zambrano will have to earn his way back

Nov 15, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

zambrano fenway reuters Reuters

The Cubs are turning a new page. New team president, new GM and soon a new manager.  It’s fresh start city at Wrigley. So the last thing they probably want is to deal with bad old business like Carlos Zambrano.

Theo Epstein, however, has continued to leave the door open to the possibility of Zambrano returning to Chicago. His latest comment to that effect came after a meeting with Zambrano’s agent yesterday when he said that Zambrano will have a chance to “earn his way back” to staying with the team. Here’s Epstein, quoted by Patrick Mooney of

“I told him we’d give him the right to earn his way back to being a Cub. Nothing would be given to him.”

Can’t really take any other stance publicly, regardless of your actual intentions. Because, sure, it’s entirely possible that Epstein truly wants to simply cut this sunk cost and toxic presence from the roster. If he signals such an intention, however, he loses any chance of gaining anything — be it a marginal minor leaguer or a modicum of salary relief — from a team willing to take a chance on Big Z.


  1. Alex K - Nov 15, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    I just can’t make myself care about Zambrano anymore. At this point I wouldn’t be upset no matter what they choose to do. If they let him pitch, however, I hope he pitches really well. But it’s not like I am going to cheer for the guy if he’s gone.

  2. Marc - Nov 15, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    Two words: Contract year. Big Z is crazy, but he isn’t that crazy. The man knows he better put it together for one more pay-day. No less than 30 starts, 180 innings, and he’ll behave. Crazy is always relative, and money makes crazy think like the rest of us.

  3. diehardcubbiefan4life - Nov 15, 2011 at 9:32 AM

    Marc, you make an excellent point an I hope that you are correct, but i believe that he is previously said that he wants to retire at the end of this contract. I hope your right though.

  4. blueintown - Nov 15, 2011 at 11:17 AM

    My hope is that this is an attempt by Theo to stir up the market a little bit by insinuating Z has some worth to the Cubs.

  5. acieu - Nov 15, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    Pour gasoline on this contract and set it on fire

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