Theo Epstein said yesterday that the Cubs are very much in favor of Carlos Zambrano pitching in the Venezuelan winter league and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that they’ll “have a scout monitoring” his first start Sunday.
Zambrano, who’ll be managed in Venezuela by Julio Franco, is scheduled to make a total of nine appearances for Los Caribes de Anzoategui after sitting out the final six weeks of the season while suspended by the Cubs.
“He probably needs the innings and it could be good for his state of mind to get out there and perform,” Epstein told Sullivan.
Epstein has yet to talk to Zambrano, but revealed that he had an “enlightening” conversation with the right-hander’s agent recently and is seemingly much more open to Zambrano sticking around than previous management was. Zambrano is owed $18 million next season in the final year of a $91.5 million deal.