Updated – 5:56pm on Tuesday, February 13 with Additional Information
According to a report in the Chicago Tribune on Monday night and on WGN News at 9, Carlos Zambrano is prepared to leave Chicago after the season if a new deal is not reached before opening day. Zambrano made the statements on WGN and the Tribune ran the report on Monday night citing the interview on WGN as their source. Zambrano’s statements on WGN (from the Tribune):
“I’m ready to sign, and I would do my job anyway with the Cubs this year. Whatever happens, I don’t want to know about a contract during the season. I want to sign with the Cubs before the season starts. If they don’t sign me, sorry, but I must go. That’s what Carlos Zambrano thinks.”
“(Cubs general manager) Jim (Hendry) spent a lot of money. I hope he has some for ‘Big Z'”.
Zambrano did not appear happy, at all, while discussing his contract with WGN. Zambrano has not made it a secret….he wants ‘Barry Zito Money’. From the WGN interview he looked very serious when he made the comment about leaving the Cubs.
Hendry and the Cubs are in a no-win situation. Without Zambrano (a happy Zambrano at that) all of the off-season moves the Cubs just made could be for not.
Will update if more information becomes available….
Update – Paul Sullivan from the Chicago Tribune was on XM Radio on Tuesday and the discussion was Carlos Zambrano
Paul Sullivan from the Chicago Tribune was on the Baseball Beat with Charley Steiner on Tuesday and the entire conversation centered around Carlos Zambrano’s future with the Cubs. According to Sullivan Monday night was the first time Z had given the ultimatum about if the new deal is not done than he is going to leave. Sullivan is pretty sure Zambrano will get ‘Barry Zito Money’ if he reaches free agency but not with the Cubs. He went on to say he thinks the Cubs are having problems with Zambrano’s agent and they shocked the Cubs with the arbitration number ($15.5 million). Sullivan said he thinks the Cubs will draw the line on this and mentioned the loyalty both Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez showed this past off-season….and again, according to Sullivan, the Cubs are not seeing this from Zambrano.
Steiner and Sullivan talked about how much of a distraction this is going to be when the Cubs report to Fitch Park on Wednesday and it will turn into a huge distraction if Zambrano has another slow start. Sullivan said Zambrano is one of his favorite players and a great guy. According to Sullivan, he has been waiting on his big pay day. He finished his talk with Steiner by saying he thinks both Zambrano and the Cubs will hold their ground.