Marquis Is Official….Now How Much to Keep Zambrano?….Floyd Next?

Updated 7:56pm C.T. with A Speculation from ESPN about the future contract of Carlos Zambrano and More on the Marquis’ Signing

Updated – 6:27am 12/20 – Floyd Close to Signing with Cubs?

Jason Marquis Officially Signed with the Cubs on Tuesday, 3-years for $21 million

According to a report on Yahoo Sports, the Cubs officially announced the signing of Jason Marquis on Tuesday afternoon. Marquis took a physical on Tuesday and signed the deal in the afternoon. There has not been an official announcement of the breakdown yet but most of the contracts handed out this off-season have been incredibly back loaded.

The deal was reported more than 10 days ago and many have speculated with the signing of Marquis the Cubs are done making additions to their starting rotation. The Faithful will have to wait and see.

Marquis will join the mix in the starting rotation that includes…. Carlos Zambrano, Rich Hill, Ted Lilly and if healthy, Wade Miller and/or Mark Prior. Sean Marshall and Juan Mateo could figure into the competition this spring for the 5th spot in the rotation as well.

Check back later in the evening for the rest of the notes from Tuesday, including a speculation from ESPN on how much it will take to keep Carlos Zambrano in Chicago and for how long.

Update – 7:56pm C.T.More on the Marquis deal…. The Marquis conference call with the media can be heard on Cubs.com and it was very interesting to hear him speak about the problems he had with his mechanics….that was really the focus of the questions. At the end of the conference call Carrie Muskat asked him about what number he was going to wear and prefaced it with “this a rather ridiculous question”….Marquis said if 21 was available he would wear it, that was his favorite number, the one he wore in St. Louis and growing up but reiterated at the end, he does not know what the availability of the number is.

Another report from Yahoo Sports on Marquis and a report from Cubs.com

How much to keep Carlos Zambrano? Jerry Crasnick on ESPN.com released a report on Tuesday that mentioned a few of the possible free agents for next off-season. According to Crasnick next year’s free agent class is very thin and players could cash in and he gives odds on certain players returning with their current teams and among the seven he discussed was Carlos Zambrano.

According to Crasnick, Zambrano has a 50-50 shot of returning to Chicago. He thinks if Barry Zito is worth $80-$100 million that Zambrano could be worth a lot more. He is 3 years younger than Zito and seems to be improving every year but the main concern is the amount he has pitched over the past few seasons. At age 25, Zambrano ranks 5th in the Major Leagues in innings pitched since 2003 (861). An American League GM stated this according to Crasnick:

“I’ve been saying for the last three years that he’s going to breakdown, but he hasn’t yet.”

Two executives said a 6-year deal worth $18 million a year is realistic according to the report.

Hendry said, “We certainly have interest in keeping Carlos in Chicago. That’s always been something he’s expressed to me that he wants to do. We’ll sit down and have conversations with his representatives before and during spring training, and pursue it with our normal diligence.”

Update – 6:27am 12/20 - According to a report from Paul Sullivan in the Wednesday morning edition of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs are close to a deal with Cliff Floyd to be a platoon partner in left field with Matt Murton. According to Sullivan it would be an incentive-laden deal.

Quote of the Day

"A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him." - David Brinkley
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