Carlos Zambrano may be going on an apology tour, but according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, it’s going to be unsuccessful.
Wittenmyer takes the pulse of the Cubs’ front office and clubhouse and believes strongly that Zambrano has thrown his last pitch as a Cub. He calls Zambrano’s interview with CSNChicago.com part of “an image-fixing publicity tour of handpicked media outlets,” and says that it’s against the advice of Zambrano’s agent. He also notes that neither Jim Hendry nor Mike Quade are impressed with it. He believes that no matter what happens with Big Z’s grievance, the Cubs will keep him away from the team for the rest of the season and that they’ll continue to try to trade him in the winter.
Of course Zambrano is virtually untradeable, and certainly without the Cubs paying all or nearly all of his 2012 salary. And when that dawns on the Cubs, it’s not hard to imagine them simply releasing the guy, because it means more or less the same to them.
So yes, we’ve seen the Zambrano contrition parade in the past. But it seems like we’re about to see a brand new outcome.
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.