Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano completed a three-week anger management program on Thursday and was sent to the club’s spring training complex in Mesa, Florida to begin working his way back to the big leagues.
That process took a big leap forward this morning, as it was announced by the Des Moines Register that Big Z will be joining up with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on either Tuesday or Wednesday to begin throwing in live games. Zambrano is being brought back as a reliever, so it shouldn’t take him long to build endurance and work out any kinks that have developed in his delivery.
The right-hander, of course, was suspended indefinitely by the Cubs in late June for going on a tirade in the dugout after a rough outing. He had a 5.66 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP in 22 outings (nine starts) before the unfortunate incident.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets have discussed a trade involving starter Matt Harvey with at least two teams. Apparently, the Mets were even willing to move Harvey for a reliever.
The Mets tendered Harvey a contract on December 1. He’s entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility and will likely see a slight bump from last season’s salary of $5.125 million. As a result, there was some thought going into late November that the Mets would non-tender Harvey.
Harvey, 28, made 18 starts and one relief appearance last year and had horrendous results. He put up a 6.70 ERA with a 67/47 K/BB ratio in 92 2/3 innings. Between his performance, his impending free agency, and his injury history, the Mets aren’t likely to get much back in return for Harvey. Even expecting a reliever in return may be too lofty.
Along with bullpen help, the Mets also need help at second base, first base, and the outfield. They don’t have many resources with which to address those needs. Ackert described the Mets’ resources as “a very limited stash of prospects” and “limited payroll space.”