The trade of Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins is official. Ken Rosenthal tweets some of the details:
- Zambrano waived his no-trade clause and his $19.25 million option for 2013 that would have kicked in if he finished in top four of the Cy Young vote. He’ll be a free agent next winter;
- He also settled grievance with the Cubs relating to his suspension for basically walking out on the team after a bad starts. He was originally suspended for 30 games without pay. He gets back 24 days of that, which amounts to $2.4 million;
- Finally, the deal now includes $100K bonus if he wins the Comeback Player of the Year in 2012.
The suspension thing may anger some people who wanted to see Zambrano punished for walking out on his team, but that’s just what happens when you have a negotiation over a no-trade clause. If the Cubs wanted it waived, they had to give him something over and above a trip to a different city.
The Comeback Player of the Year award thing is interesting too. I wouldn’t call it crazy. As we’ve mentioned before, the dimensions of the Marlins’ new ballpark are huge. Granted, we don’t know how a place will play until you actually play games there — the walls are short, so that may cut down on the pitcher friendliness — but if it does play big, Zambrano and any other Marlins pitcher may be able to put up misleadingly good numbers.
If that happens — and if Z can cut back on the crazy — he’d be a fine candidate for Comeback Player of the Year.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.