With news breaking yesterday that the Cubs may look to deal Carlos Zambrano, I can't help but be skeptical. Firstly, I have a tough time believing that any team will take on the more than $50+ million owed to Zambrano over the next three years (probably more).
Secondly, I doubt that the Cubs will be able to get a package for Zambrano that they find appealing. Zambrano has too much money owed to him and too much of a injury risk for teams to deal legit prospects for him:
With that said, I scoured Cot's Baseball Contracts to see if there are actually some options out there for the Cubs. What teams out there would actually be willing to pick up the $50+ million owed to Zambrano?
Angels: Lots of money coming off the books this year and a healthy and productive Zambrano would give them one of the best rotations in baseball.
Mets: For the past two years now, the Mets have needed another quality starter behind Johan Santana. Zambrano would be exactly the kind of pitcher the Mets would want. However, you have to wonder just how much payroll the Mets would be willing to take on in light of all the Madoff madness that the Wilpons have gone through.
Dodgers: The Dodgers have more than $26 million bucks coming off the books this summer and should look to upgrade their pitching staff. Zambrano could become an option if the Dodgers fail to bring back Randy Wolf.
However, there is one major problem: Kemp, Bronxton, Billingsley, and Ethier are all arbitration eligible and should be due for raises. A good chunk of that $26 million could be tied up in those young players.
Mariners: Only have $41 million committed towards next year's payroll so adding Zambrano might not be out of the question. Zambrano would be a fantastic fit behind Felix Hernandez in the Mariners rotation and would add some depth to the starting staff if Erik Bedard chooses to go elsewhere.
Thoughts? What other teams could be options for Zambrano and the Cubs?