Tag: Carlos Zambrano

New York Yankees Rumors: 10 Potential Ace Replacements for CC Sabathia

Spring training is here and there’s already panic in the Bronx.

The New York Yankees’ offseason will not go down in the history books among the all-time greats.

They missed out on Cliff Lee. Their best acquisition was Rafael Soriano, which isn’t to say that he’s bad, just that the ridiculous contract they gave him is. They alienated Derek Jeter—arguably the most beloved player in franchise history—by handling the negotiations through the media. To add insult to injury, Andy Pettitte decided to call it a career.

The Yankees enter 2011 with a lot of questions that need to be answered if they are going to compete with the revamped Red Sox in the American League East.

One thing that they don’t have to worry about is their ace, CC Sabathia. He has been as reliable as anyone in baseball since the 2007 season.

However, they do have to worry about that opt-out clause in his contract after this year. If Sabathia chooses to exercise it, he will be a free agent, and that will leave the Yankees scrambling to ensure that they don’t lose him.

They do have a great bargaining chip in the minors in Jesus Montero, whom they can dangle to acquire a new ace for 2012. Since the free-agent pitching market next winter is going to be pretty bad, a trade would seem to be their best bet to acquire a new ace.

Here are 10 guys that the Yankees could take a look at if Sabathia decides to bolt from New York after 2011.

Begin Slideshow

MLB Trade Rumors: 5 Potential Deals for the Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have already traded for starting pitcher Matt Garza and traded away starting pitcher Tom Gorzelanny this winter, and it seems very possible that that will be enough for GM Jim Hendry. There is relatively little else Chicago could do at this point, with the key free agents off the market and the team unlikely to leapfrog the Brewers and Reds into the top spot in a rational prognosticator’s picture of the 2011 NL Central division.

Of course, miracles happen every day (see Wells, Vernon), so perhaps the Cubs can find a diamond somewhere in the January rough and make themselves into a more legitimate contender either in 2011 or in the longer term. Read on for five deals the Cubs could try to swing to turn their fortunes for the better.

Begin Slideshow

Chicago Cubs: 10 Players on the Market Who Could Secure a Trip to the Playoffs

With the Cubs placing their crosshairs on a 2012 run like Sarah Palin, it’s worth considering the chances that they could aim a little bit higher.  The Cubs have now added a solid No. 2 starter in Matt Garza, a slugging first baseman—albeit with an OPS (.732) lower than Starlin Castro’s—in Carlos Pena and a suitable bridge to Carlos Marmol in Kerry Wood.  These additions fill GM Jim Hendry’s top three offseason priorities—adding a frontline starter, a lefty power bat who can play first base and a power reliever—despite lacking payroll flexibility.  Well done, Mr. Hendry…

Unless you consider that the Cubs are still likely to finish behind the Reds, Brewers, Cardinals and maybe the Astros.  Since going winless in back to back postseasons in 2007 and 2008, the Cubs have broadened the definition of mediocrity to include August in Wrigley. 

The Cubs are the middle managers of MLB; clock-punching, knit tie-wearing lunchbox carriers looking up admiringly to the elite in baseball.  Those elite franchises, like the Phillies and Red Sox, spend their league-leading payrolls to become the league’s CEOs—the Beemer-driving, luxury box-sitting, swagger-mongers.  The Cubs, who will likely have the National League’s highest payroll, will enter 2011 with a scratchy quilt of overpriced vets and unproven question marks, with the faraway dream that they could one day mesh into a championship unit.

But what if that day was sooner rather than…never?  With gaudy pieces like Castro, Josh Vitters, Andrew Cashner and Brett Jackson potentially for sale and available suitors looking to cast off today’s stars in favor of tomorrow’s dreams, would the Cubs be willing to dash it all for a 2011 run?  Signs indicate that they might be, after sending four of their top 12 prospects to Tampa last week for Garza.

So look into that crystal ball, Mr. Hendry, for here are the top moves the Cubs could make to secure a trip to the playoffs in 2011…

Begin Slideshow

Chicago Cubs: Following Matt Garza Trade, What is Next Logical Move?

The Cubs acquired Matt Garza and two non-factor minor leaguers from the Rays, in case you’ve been living under a rock. While there has been much gnashing of teeth about whether the Cubs gave up too much in return for Garza, the real question is what will be the next move for Jim Hendry and the Cubs?

Thus far this winter, Hendry has acted in direct opposite to what owner Tom Ricketts said the direction of the team would be. Instead of player development, the Cubs have been acquiring veterans and trading away prospects.

Now, this doesn’t mean that acquiring Garza is a bad thing. In fact, I happen to really like Garza and to be fair, he is only 27 years old, so it’s not as if he’s going to be applying for AARP any time soon.

Still, it’s interesting how the Cubs have been careful to avoid the “rebuilding” tag. Ricketts paid a lot for this team, and is concerned about how the fans would accept a true rebuilding effort.

He wants butts in the seats, and no one can blame him for that. But it is a fact that Hendry has a lot of overpaid ballplayers and probably will try and move some payroll in order to pay the $6 million or so it will take for the Cubs to sign the arbitration-eligible Garza for 2011.

Hendry hasn’t gone to a hearing since he’s been the Cubs GM, so don’t look for him to start with Garza. But that may mean doing one or more of the following things.

First, he will likely try to move a starting pitcher.

To date, all of the speculation has been that Hendry will trade lefty Tom Gorzelanny. While that move may make sense from a depth and tradeability (is that even a word?) perspective, it will not net a huge payroll impact for the Cubs.

Gorz made only $800K last year. Meanwhile, Carlos Zambrano is owed at least $36 million with a 2013 vesting option for $19.25 million.

Recognizing that, could Hendry be looking to move Big Z?

Now this may surprise long-time readers, but I hope not.

Look, if the Cubs are truly “all in,” to borrow the White Sox 2011 marketing slogan,  they need a healthy and productive Zambrano. Plus he has that no-trade clause.

If the Cubs acquire Garza but move Zambrano, there is really no net gain. Therefore, the Carlos Pena experiment and the Kerry Wood flier would be all for naught.

Instead, if we can move Carlos Silva, by all means let’s do it.

Sure, moving Silva would require the Cubs paying part of his salary but it would be worth it. He is an awful pitcher who got lucky to start the season undefeated last year and cannot be counted on to help the rotation in 2011.

Other teams know this, however, and would much rather have Gorz, so that may be a pipe dream. Still, I would try if I were Hendry.

Otherwise, the Cubs should stick to the plan and go for the division in 2011. That is the only thing that makes sense after trading prospects for Garza.

Concurrent with a rotation move, I’m sure that Hendry has been trying to move Kosuke Fukudome and his outrageous $13.5 million salary.

There is no way any team pays him that much, but I’d rather see them get even a small amount of salary relief for Fukudome and play Tyler Colvin in right field than move Gorzelanny.

Trade or no trade, I would run the following five out to the mound: Zambrano, Garza, Dempster, Wells and Gorzelanny.

But then again, I’m not Jim Hendry. Thank God.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Rumors: 5 Pitchers on the Yankees’ Christmas Wish List

After getting spurned by top free agents from Cliff Lee to Carl Crawford and failing to make a trade for an impact arm such as Zack Greinke, the New York Yankees currently sit as a team that is certainly no better than last year’s version, and may be even worse.

If the Yankees cannot entice longtime great Andy Pettitte out of retirement, the rotation could feature multiple minor leaguers and castaways.

Because of this, it is likely that the Yankees will need to make a move for an impact arm. Although a move may have to wait until during the season, in honor of the holidays, here is a Yankee wish list of top arms they will look to acquire.

Begin Slideshow

MLB Trade Rumors: The Latest on Zack Greinke, Prince Fielder and Others

MLB trade rumors have been flying around like crazy since Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies, which probably explains why most of them involve pitchers.

Zack Greinke has been on the block seemingly ever since the last out of the World Series was squeezed, and Carlos Zambrano is also rumored to be on the block.

But Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder’s name has been bandied about pretty consistently the entire offseason, and he could still move before spring training starts.

Those are just three of the 10 names we have updates on. Start the slideshow for the latest hot stove news.

Begin Slideshow

Chicago Cubs: Rebuilding Team Must Move Carlos Zambrano If Opportunity Exists

The Cubs organization will never use the term in front of Cubs fans for fear of backlash, but the Cubs are in a rebuilding process. 

Sure, if they can win while they do it all the better, which is why we saw Jim Hendry take a flier on a veteran like Carlos Pena instead of moving Tyler Colvin to first base. But since contending in 2011 seems unlikely, I have a suggestion for Hendry: 

If you can move big contracts like Carlos Zambrano without having to eat more than half of the money, what are you waiting for? 

There has been some speculation recently about a possible fit for Zambrano with the Yankees, which makes sense now that they missed out on Cliff Lee. It would also reunite Zambrano with Larry Rothschild. 

(By the way, I’d pay to see the look on Larry’s face when news that Big Z is following him to the Big Apple. That would be priceless!). 

Yet even if Bruce Levine is misguided as usual, you’d have to think that Hendry would at least check into the possibility—especially if he can either obtain some young talent or force the Bombers to also accept Kosuke Fukudome and his ridiculous contract. 

Now, Big Z has some say in this matter, to be sure. But I’m sure his no-trade clause is negotiable, like most things in life. 

But, if we move Zambrano the rotation will suffer, you say? Um, and this is a concern why? Seriously, with or without Big Z, this rotation is not good enough to win a World Series. 

Fat Carlos Silva is unlikely to start the season 8-0 again. And while we’re at it, the Cubs must lead the world in Carloses (is that even a word??). What is up with that? 

Look, in order to win the way Tom Ricketts has described, you need good young players coming through the pipeline on a consistent basis. Right now, the system isn’t exactly overflowing with major league-ready talent. 

But if you can infuse some fresh talent via trade, now you’ve just jump-started your program and shortened the rebuilding time. 

Oops, we can’t call it rebuilding. Is ‘retooling’ more palatable to you Cubs fans? 

No matter what happens with Zambrano, if I am Hendry I am looking in every nook and cranny for any opportunities to shed payroll.

Thank God I am not Hendry, incidentally. 

The problem with this strategy, aside from having to deal with other GMs who have working grey matter, is that the Cubs don’t want to jeopardize attendance. 

But either you’re in or you’re out Mr. Ricketts. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

By the way, keep Silva away from that cake.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Rumors: Is Carlos Zambrano Being Targeted by the New York Yankees?

The Yankees need pitching help. We all know this.

The Yankees just got burned in the Cliff Lee negotiations, as he turned down the Yankees’ offer and went back to the Phillies.

With the Yankees rotation right now being CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and a struggling A.J. Burnett, they have two huge holes in it.

Andy Pettitte is tossed between retiring and coming back for 2011. A lot of people in baseball have a feeling Pettitte may in fact call it a career this winter.

If Pettitte does retire, it makes Yankees general manager Brian Cashman scratch his head and search for even more answers and help.

According to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, Cashman may in fact have his eye on a target to trade for.

The Yankees may now be targeting the Cubs’ ace right-handed pitcher Carlos Zambrano in a trade.

Zambrano, who will be turning 30 over the summer, is due to make about $17.8 million and is still locked up until 2013, so he won’t be a free agent for a couple more years.

In 2010, Zambrano was bounced back and forth between the rotation and bullpen because of struggles, but he did re-emerge as a solid starter and finished the year at 11-6 with a 3.33 ERA in 20 starts.

From August 14 until the last day of the season on October 1, Zambrano went 8-0 in his last 10 starts made, which again made his value go up.

Now, Zambrano has been known to be a very fiery guy and is known to have a temper. That is also with Chicago.

In New York, that wouldn’t fly. At least the temper thing wouldn’t. The fire and passion of Zambrano would be embraced.

Even though at one point Zambrano was demoted to the bullpen and had an ERA as high as 7.07 during last season, maybe getting sent to the bullpen was a wake-up call for Zambrano.

With Cashman looking to explore the trade market, he has a pretty good farm system to trade from if he is looking to add Zambrano.

If Zambrano is in fact a changed man from his old self and can control it, plus pitch like he did in Chicago, I for one am all for making a trade with the Cubs to get him.

One of the advantages is the new Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

Zambrano and Rothschild have a very good relationship, and many credit Rothschild for why Zambrano was able to salvage himself and his career.

Taking a chance on a guy who makes about $17 million and then $18 million the following season is risky, so if the Cubs took on some of the money in the deal, that would only help enhance the possibility of a trade for the Yankees.

A lot of people will think it’s a risky deal to make, and I myself feel that it would be a major risk.

But then again, so is every trade you make. Honestly, the only sure thing for the Yankees would have been signing Lee for 2011, but that’s not an option anymore.

Cashman can’t just spend now to get a starting pitcher because really there aren’t any out there. If the Yankees want a starter, he’s going to have to make a deal.

Now, are the Cubs interested in trading Zambrano? I think so.

Rumors last year had the Cubs and Mets discussing a Zambrano for Oliver Perez deal, but it fell through when the Mets wanted Chicago to take on Luis Castillo as well.

The Cubs are probably still looking to shed payroll, and I bet if Cashman calls up Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, they might be able to work out a deal.

The Yankees still have a solid team, but if they went in today with Ivan Nova and Sergio Mitre as their fourth and fifth starters, they would have no chance against the Red Sox in the American League East.

I seriously think this is one idea that Cashman should consider.

My gut feeling right now is that I bet he checks in real soon on Zambrano too.

One thing is for sure: The Yankees need to bolster their pitching staff—and soon.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The 2010 MLB Season: Ranking the Top 25 Moments

The 2010 MLB season was quite the ride.

We had six no-hitters (well, seven technically), which ties the record set in 1969 and 1990.

There were plenty of midseason transactions that would alter the course of the rest of the season. A few small-market teams proved that sporting a payroll under $100 million doesn’t mean your team is automatically out of it.

We had brawls and 20-inning games. We saw a team come back from 10 runs to win a game.

We followed three players that had a chance for the Triple Crown all the way up to the end of August. We watched a few bench-clearing brawls.

We said goodbye to a legendary player and manager.

We watched a team go through bankruptcy, only to find themselves in the World Series a few months later. And we watched a tortured franchise finally be able to call themselves the champs.

Here are the top moments of the season that was in baseball.

Begin Slideshow

MLB Trade Rumor: Carlos Beltran for Carlos Zambrano in a Swap of Bad Contracts?

It has been reported that the New York Mets could be looking to move Carlos Beltran, and who could blame them? He is 33 and has played in only 145 games the past two seasons combined due to knee problems.

Beltran is also owed $18.5 million in the final season of his contract.

Meanwhile, the Cubs are trying to pare down payroll as new owner Tom Ricketts wants to build through the farm system. And while moving Carlos Zambrano for Beltran won’t accomplish anything in 2011, Big Z’s contract is guaranteed through 2012, so this move would save the Cubs at least $36 million, and possibly more if his 2013 player option vests. 

But why would the Mets do this? Well, Zambrano actually flashed some of his old form after coming back from a suspension in 2010. Zambrano was 7-0 with a 1.27 ERA in 10 starts following his return to the Cubs’ starting rotation in August. 

Both players have no-trade clauses, and Zambrano has said he does not want to go anywhere.

The always-questionable Bruce Levine reported back in October that “resurgent Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano said he will invoke his no-trade clause if he’s approached about a deal during the offseason.” 

But sometimes there are offers you just can’t refuse and if the Mets were to guarantee his vesting option for 2013, he just might come around.

As for the other Carlos, the AP reports that “Beltran says he wants to finish his career with the Mets, but if the team wants to trade him, ‘I have to listen.'”

The Cubs want to be rid of the headaches that Zambrano has caused and while new Mets GM Sandy Alderson is a smart man, starting pitching is awfully hard to come by, and it is unlikely that Beltran fits into the team’s plans this season, much less beyond 2011.

The Cubs, meanwhile, could try Beltran at first base or right field with Kosuke Fukudome being traded. How this would affect Tyler Colvin is immaterial, as he should not be a starting outfielder anyway.

Might Beltran have a resurgent year heading into free agency? It could happen. Zambrano could also have a big year, but what’s wrong with a win-win situation?

I admit this is not likely, but stranger things have happened.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress