The Chicago Cubs have parted ways with Carlos Zambrano. Big Z was dealt to the Marlins today in exchange for another big righty, Chris Volstad. Ozzie Guillen, Miami’s new manager, has been friends with Zambrano for years and made a strong push for his acquisition. But can the two volatile Venezuelans coexist? Only time will tell. But one thing is certain… it will be entertaining. Start the countdown to – Meltdown in Miami! Zambrano and fellow newcomer Mark Buehrle will join an already solid Marlins rotation that includes Josh Johnson, Anibal Sanchez, and Ricky Nolasco. Zambrano is slated to be the fifth starter if everyone is healthy.
The Cubs, desperate to rid themselves of Zambrano, agreed to pay all but $2.5 million of his $18 million 2012 salary. Astros fans will be happy to see Zambrano leave the division. He has always been an Astros-killer, both on the mound and with the bat. Zambrano’s contract option for 2013 has reportedly been voided as part of the deal. That opens up the possibility that Big Z could follow the Astros to the American League next season. If that is the case at least he won’t be able to bat against the Astros. Unless of course a savvy manager elects to employ him as his DH. Six of Zambrano’s 23 career homers have come against Houston. In addition Zambrano posted a 16-8 record versus the Astros in his eleven seasons with the Cubs.