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Marlins acquire Carlos Zambrano and $15 million from the Cubs for Chris Volstad

Jan 4, 2012, 7:31 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs Getty Images

UPDATE, 7:31 PM: ESPN Chicago’s Bruce Levine says the deal is done. It’s Zambrano for Volstad, with the Cubs eating $15 million of the $18 million remaining on Zambrano’s contract.

UPDATE, 7:12 PM: According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Marlins are sending right-hander Chris Volstad to the Cubs as part of the Big Z trade, which could be finalized sometime Thursday.

UPDATE, 5:40 PM: So much for Zambrano staying in Chicago. Just hours after Epstein’s radio interview Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Marlins are close to acquiring Zambrano from the Cubs.

He’d have to waive his no-trade clause first, but Rosenthal believes Zambrano would do so to pitch for manager Ozzie Guillen and it’s no secret that the Marlins have been shopping for another veteran starter.

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Carlos Zambrano‘s odds of remaining with the Cubs increased significantly when Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over the front office from Jim Hendry, but he’s still far from a sure thing to be with Chicago on Opening Day.

During an interview with WGN radio today Epstein was asked about Zambrano’s status and gave a pretty interesting answer:

The Carlos Zambrano of 2011 and years previous can’t fit into the culture that we have here. Change needs to happen and change will happen. Either he’ll change and buy in and fit into this culture–and I understand there are a lot of skeptics around about that, and I understand that, and frankly, I’m skeptical as well.

He needs to prove to us that he can change and be part of this culture or we’ll change the personnel and move forward with people who are proud to be Cubs and treat their teammates with respect, treat the fans with respect and can be part of a winning culture in the Cubs’ clubhouse.

Epstein focusing on the clubhouse culture is … well, let’s say noteworthy considering how the Red Sox’s clubhouse culture fell apart in the month or two before he left Boston.

Clearly if the Cubs can get any kind of decent prospect or meaningful payroll relief in exchange for Zambrano they’ll gladly trade him, but there isn’t a whole lot of benefit to eating his entire $18 million salary just to make him go away.

  1. willcoop - Jan 4, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    One thing is certain. All those empty seats will be filled in Florida, especially on days when Zambrano is hurling and Ozzie comes out to pay a visit. This could be the first fist fight on the mound by a pitcher and manager ever. And that’s on Ozzies first visit to the bump. So credit the fish with populating the new stadium because it’s going to be worth the price of admission.

    • Old Gator - Jan 5, 2012 at 8:18 AM

      NL East Smackdown.

  2. willcoop - Jan 5, 2012 at 7:03 AM

    Randy you were reading my mind. You have a major powder keg between those two. I suggest putting them together as room mates and locker mates, on one side of the lover room. It’s going to be really interesting to see how it goes first time Zambono pitches in Wrigley. Kevalar is the uniform of choice that day, somebody is getting lit up on the Cubs, watch and see.

    • Old Gator - Jan 5, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      I agree with Randy as well. I mean, would you want someone on your team that someone else was willing to pay you fifteen million dollars to take?

  3. crash1582 - Jan 5, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    Dear Carlos….. the Braves like hitting off of you a lot. Look forward to seeing you much more thougout the year…. Love. Atl.

  4. psousa1 - Jan 5, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Theo is picking up where he left off – paying guys to play for other teams. In this case it is a good thing. Looks like the Marlins are trying to implement that great NY Mets blueprint from about 6 years ago…………………….How’d that work out?

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