Although he would prefer to remain a Cub, Carlos Zambrano told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal that he’d be willing to waive his no-trade clause if presented with a deal this summer.
“I’ve heard rumors,” he told FOXSports.com. “I’ve already talked to my family. They said, ‘It’s OK. If you think it’s good for you, if you feel you want to be traded, do it.’”
Unlike Michael Cuddyer, Zambrano has full no-trade protection under the terms of his five-year, $91.5 million deal with the Cubs. He’s owed about $10 million over the rest of this season and $18 million in 2012. They’re a $19.25 million option for 2013 on his deal, but that will only vest if he finishes first or second in the Cy Young vote this year or in the top four next year.
Zambrano, who refused to discuss the possibility of a trade last season, didn’t necessarily say that he’d be willing to go anywhere. However, he doesn’t want to stay where he isn’t wanted.
“If they come to me and want to trade me, obviously it’s because they don’t want me here anymore,” he said. “I always say that. I’ll be here until the Cubs decide to trade me.”
Zambrano has been linked to the Yankees on several occasions, though Rosenthal hears the Bombers have only minimal interest in him. The Yankees might actually prefer Zambrano’s teammate, Ryan Dempster, as a trade target.
The Kansas City Star has covered the death of Yordano Ventura and its aftermath in a thorough, thoughtful, respectful and admirable fashion and it has all been compelling to read, even if it’s often been difficult to read. Their latest story may be the most difficult, though it is nonetheless essential.
It covers the final year of Ventura’s life which, sadly, was tumultuous. He had become estranged from his family. He was married to a woman who, at the time of the ceremony, was still married to her first husband and whose family, allegedly, later made threats against Ventura that we’re only now learning about. This includes allegations of armed men accosting Ventura at his home near the Royals spring training facility a year ago. An incident which led to him missing time due to “flulike symptoms,” but which, in reality, caused him considerable mental distress. He was again threatened, it is claimed, in Kansas City during the season. There is also an allegation that Ventura attempted suicide via an overdose of Benadryl, though that is disputed.
Beyond that, there is an arc to the end of Ventura’s life which sounds unfortunately familiar. It’s a story of a young man whose life changed dramatically in a very, very short period of time and who struggled at times to process the changes. Were it not for a fateful drive on a dark and winding road one night in late January, they all could’ve been things that, as his career matured, he could look back on as learning experiences. Now that he’s gone, however, they form the final, tragic chapter.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.