The Cubs are calling Carlos Zambrano’s bluff

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Courtesy of Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com, here is Cubs general manager Jim Hendry’s reaction to Carlos Zambrano’s intention to retire.

“We will respect his wishes and honor them and move forward.”

I can only assume this is an edited version of the original statement that may have read something like, “Thanks for taking us off the hook for the remainder of your contract. Party at my house.”

Of course, this is likely just the beginning of yet another ugly episode. If Zambrano really does walk away, he would be giving up the remainder of his $17.875 million salary for this season and his entire $18 million salary in 2012. That works out to somewhere around $24 million total. You can bet that whoever is in his ear is telling him to get his butt to the ballpark today and apologize for cleaning out his locker and walking out on his teammates. But hey, Big Z has always marched to the beat of his own drum, so he might actually be serious about this whole thing.

Rougned Odor received two horses as part of his contract extension with Rangers

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Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor reached an agreement with the Rangers on a six-year, $49.5 million contract extension. It was announced on Saturday and finalized on Thursday. The contract is pretty typical — a signing bonus, escalating salaries each year — except for one thing: Odor received two elite horses as well, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.

Here are those horses, per Jared Sandler of 1053 The Fan:

Players do sometimes get perks as part of their contracts. Usually it’s mundane stuff like extra game tickets for family and friends, use of a suite, limo rides, or plane tickets. Sometimes they can get rather specific. For example, in 2005, Troy Glaus got $250,000 per year in “personal business expenses” from the Diamondbacks, which was for his wife’s equestrian training. Hall of Famer George Brett got a 10 percent stake in an apartment complex in Memphis when he signed an extension with the Royals in the mid-1980’s. But as far as my research was able to go, no one received any horses, so that’s new.

Of course, the Rangers certainly think Odor is worth the perks. Last season, Odor hit .271/.296/.502 with 33 home runs, 88 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 632 plate appearances. And at just 23 years old, he has plenty of room to improve.

Mariners sign Mark Lowe

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The Mariners have signed reliever Mark Lowe, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The Tigers released him on Sunday.

Lowe, 33, is entering the last of a two-year, $11 million deal signed with the Tigers in December 2015. The right-hander struggled to a 7.11 ERA with a 49/21 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings last season. His performance this spring didn’t do much to inspire confidence.

Lowe began his major league career with the Mariners, breaking out in 2009 with a 3.26 ERA across 80 innings. He has been inconsistent throughout most of his 11-year big league career, however.