Miami trading for Carlos Zambrano this offseason involved little risk, as the Cubs covered all but $3 million of his $18 million salary and the Marlins only had to part with Chris Volstad in the swap.
Unfortunately that low-risk move hasn’t paid off, as Zambrano went 5-9 with a 4.54 ERA and 83/67 K/BB ratio in 115 innings spread over 20 starts. And today the Marlins demoted him to the bullpen, filling his rotation spot with Wade LeBlanc.
Zambrano actually got off to a strong start, sporting a 2.81 ERA as recently as early June, but since then he’s 1-6 with a 7.62 ERA and more walks (38) than strikeouts (27) in 41 innings while allowing opponents to hit .290.
He’s mostly been a model citizen in Miami, which is certainly a change from his Chicago days, but of course that doesn’t seem quite as important when you can’t throw the ball over the plate. And dating back to the beginning of last season Zambrano now has a 4.70 ERA and 123 walks in 261 innings while managing just 6.2 strikeouts per nine frames.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.