The one name that keeps coming up in baseball circles is Carlos Zambrano. Yankees scouts watched him pitch on the Cubs’ recent 10-game road trip. These were not advance scouts who prepare teams for the next series, because the Yankees do video work on the next opponent instead of using scouts. These were top advisers to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.
Zambrano, who has a full no-trade clause, has said on numerous occasions he wants to stay with the Cubs until his deal expires after 2012. But Zambrano, like any veteran, wants the opportunity to perform in a World Series before his career is over. If the Yankees, who are in need of starting pitching, decide to approach the Cubs about Zambrano’s availability, the veteran pitcher could change his mind.
Zambrano’s name seems to forever be linked to trade rumors for two reasons. The first is that not many people like him. He is an explosive personality that can and does explode on teammates and coaches from time to time. The second is that Zambrano is owed $35.875 million between this season and next.
Both of those reasons make it unlikely that the Yankees would acquire him. They are also the reason they would at least check in to him. He’s still a talented pitcher even with his baggage and those issues would only make him cheaper to deal for. The Yankees would have to really like what he brings to the table though if they were to pursue a deal for him.
One thing that makes this entire scenario more interesting is that the Yankees pitching coach, Larry Rothschild, has been Zambrano’s pitching coach almost the entire time he has been with Chicago. That gives them a unique insight as to what dealing with Big Z would ultimately be like.
Levine reported that some people within the Yankees would rather go after Cubs’ pitcher Ryan Dempster, but Levine contends that it would be unlikely that the Cubs would trade him.