This has to be it for the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano. If the right-hander is to be believed, this is it for him period.
After giving up a career-high five homers and getting ejected for throwing at the Braves’ Chipper Jones, Carlos Zambrano cleaned out his locker and told a Cubs trainer he was retiring, the Chicago Tribune reports.
“He didn’t have it tonight,” manager Mike Quade said. “I’m really disappointed. His locker is empty. I don’t know where he’s at. He walked out on 24 guys that are battling their (butts) off for him. I don’t know where he’s gone or what he’s doing. I heard he’s retired, or talking about retiring.”
If Zambrano walked away, he’d forfeit the remainder of his $17.875 million salary for this year and his entire $18 million salary in 2012. That’s a lot to give up, but Zambrano almost certainly cost himself some cash tonight no matter what he does now. The Cubs would seem to be well within their rights to suspend him indefinitely for his actions.
Zambrano’s loss tonight dropped him to 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA this season. The 30-year-old is 125-81 with a 3.60 ERA in 11 seasons, all of them coming with the Cubs.
For more quotes from Quade, check out the video at CSN Chicago.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.