Big Z’s annual apology tour is off and running.
Carlos Zambrano just spoke with David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com, giving his first public comments since being ejected from Friday’s game against the Braves and walking out on the team. You’ll be shocked to learn that not only does he regret his actions, he wants to remain with the Cubs.
“I did want to retire, I feel bad with myself, not with the Cubs, not with the organization. I feel bad with me, with the performance, with what I am doing or I was doing in the season it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating every time I go to the mound and I give up eight runs. It’s not me, and I want to do my best.”
“I want to keep pitching for the Cubs. It was a moment of frustration Friday night, and I pitched so bad I wanted to retire, you know, I don’t want to be making $18 million and pitch like crap.”
Just a bad day at the office. It happens to all of us, right? Spoken like a man with an agent.
UPDATE: Here’s the full video of the interview courtesy of CSNChicago.com:
Vodpod videos no longer available.
According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Zambrano’s grievance against the Cubs is expected to be heard soon. While he is currently on the disqualified list for 30 days without pay (which could cost him approximately $3 million), Zambrano is expected to argue for a much shorter penalty.
Yankees starter Luis Severino and Phillies starter Aaron Nola both signed contract extensions within the last week. Severino agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with a 2023 club option. Nola inked a four-year, $45 million deal with a 2023 club option.
While the deals both represented significant raises and longer-term financial security for the right-handed duo, some feel like the players are selling themselves short. It has become a more common practice for players to agree to these types of deals in part due to how stagnant free agency has become. Get the money while you can.
Mets starter Noah Syndergaard is in a similar situation as Severino and Nola were. He and the Mets avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $6 million salary for the 2019 season. He has two more years of arbitration eligibility left. A contract extension with the Mets would presumably cover both of those years plus two or three years of what would be free agent years. As Tim Britton of The Athletic reports, however, Syndergaard plans to test free agency when the time comes.
Syndergaard said, “I trust my ability and the talent that I have. So I feel like I’m going to bet (on) myself in free agency and not do what they did. But if it’s fair for both sides and they approach me on it, then maybe we can talk.” He clarified that he would be open to a conversation about an extension, but the Mets thus far haven’t approached him about it. In his words, “There’s been no traction.”
Syndergaard, 26, has been one of baseball’s better starters since debuting in 2015. He owns a career 2.93 ERA with 573 strikeouts and 116 walks in 518 1/3 innings. Among pitchers to have logged at least 400 innings since 2015 and post a lower ERA are Clayton Kershaw (2.22), Jacob deGrom (2.66) and Max Scherzer (2.71). Syndergaard made only seven starts in 2017 yet still ranks seventh among pitchers in total strikeouts since 2015.
If Sydergaard doesn’t end up signing an extension, he will be entering free agency after the 2021 season. The collective bargaining agreement expires in December 2021 and a new one will likely be agreed upon around that time. Syndergaard will hopefully have better prospects entering free agency then than players do now.