Carlos Zambrano, in response to a question about whether he’d seen yesterday’s report that the Cubs plan to shop him this offseason:
Why, are you guys the general manager now? I don’t care. If the Cubs want to trade me, it’s because they don’t like me anymore. I have to move on. What else can I do? Just move on.
Zambrano understandably wasn’t in great mood after a poor outing against the Brewers, but those are seemingly the words of someone willing to waive his no-trade clause. However, when asked specifically about potentially doing that he responded: “No, I don’t want to. What kind of question is that? That’s enough.”
He then left the interview room, which as Carrie Muskat of MLB.com notes was in stark contrast to the “person who was singing in the clubhouse before his start against the Brewers.”
The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.
Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.
His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.
The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.