Chicago Cubs Trade Carlos Zambrano and Cash to Miami Marlins for Chris Volstad

Eli GreenspanSenior Analyst IJanuary 4, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 12:  Pitcher Carlos Zambrano #38 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after throwing a pitch that got him ejected from the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on August 12, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine is reporting that the Chicago Cubs will send Carlos Zambrano to the Miami Marlins for Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad. The Cubs will eat 15 million dollars of the 18 million on his 2012 contract, which is tough to swallow for the Cubs and could turn into a very good risk for the Marlins.  

Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen and Carlos Zambrano have always had a close relationship. Guillen has even been in contact with Zambrano during some of his darkest days with the Cubs. It comes as no surprise that the Cubs would work something out with the Marlins.

Zambrano also has a full no-trade clause. Boy, did the Cubs put a lot of faith in Zambrano to clean up his act when they gave him this deal. Fortunately, he waived it without any drama.

Big Z went 9-7 with a 4.82 ERA in 24 starts, but ended the year on the disqualified list after another embarrassing outburst. He has gone 29-20 with an average 3.97 ERA over the past three seasons and has averaged 24 starts in that time span.

Volstad is actually a pretty promising young pitcher. He stands tall at 6-foot-8, and has a pretty nice repertoire if he could put it all together more consistently. Volstad has gone 26-35 and has struck out at least 100 batters over the past three seasons, but has kept his WHIP consistently at 1.42, which is not overly impressive. 

The former first-round pick gives the Cubs more pitching depth and does fit the direction of stockpiling young, talented pitching prospects. His addition by the subtraction of Zambrano also cleans the clubhouse of a bad egg, and it also opens up two lockers that Zambrano took as his own. Not kidding.