Zambrano is due to make $18 million in 2012, but the Cubs have agreed to pay $15 million of that total. Zambrano has a $19 million vesting option in his contract that kicks in if he finishes in the top four of the Cy Young voting.
The Marlins will hope that Zambrano can resurrect his career playing in South Beach.
Zambrano hasn't pitched effectively in recent seasons, and his struggles were further emphasized by several highly publicized clashes with teammates and management.
Most recently, Zambrano was suspended by the Cubs after he bolted early from an August game at Turner Field. He was eventually reinstated, but he did not pitch again for the Cubs in 2011.
For Zambrano to succeed in Miami, he will have to get along with fiery manager Ozzie Guillen, who will be managing his first season in Miami after managing the Chicago White Sox for eight seasons.
The two are good friends, a reality that Levine thinks helped convince Zambrano to waive the no-trade clause in his contract.
Above all, the Marlins will be looking for Zambrano to harness his control. He averages nearly 75 walks a season, and he is coming off a campaign in which he gave up 19 home runs in just 145.2 innings.
For his career, Zambrano owns a 125-81 record with an ERA of 3.60 and a WHIP of 1.32.