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.

Astros Extend Jeff Luhnow Through 2023

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The Astros have agreed to a contract extension with Jeff Luhnow through 2023. They’ve also given him a promotion. Or, at the very least, a new title, as he is now president of baseball operations as well as GM.

Luhnow, who was hired following the 2011 season, quite obviously built the Astros from a 100+ loss train wreck into the World Series champions. They are a top contender for that title once again in 2018. That the Astros would even think about shaking him loose any time soon was a fantasy, so this move should be considered a formality.