So after scouring Cot's Baseball Contracts, we have come up with a number of hypothetical trades for the Cubs and Zambrano this offseason that might, or might not, make sense.
Cubs acquire: Francisco Cordero
Reds acquire: Carlos Zambrano
Why this makes sense for the Cubs
-Cordero is one of the elite closers in baseball coming off a fantastic 2009 season
-Adding Cordero to the Cubs' bullpen would give them one of the best 1-2 punches in baseball at the end of the game (Cordero-Marmol).
-Cordero is only signed for the next two seasons
Why this makes sense for the Reds
-The Reds need a front line starter to team with Cueto and eventually, Edinson Volquez. Zambrano fits this mold nicely.
-Zambrano can fill the huge void left by Edinson Volquez, who will most of 2010 because of Tommy John surgery.
-Can they sign anyone better? Free agent starting pitchers aren't exactly clamoring to sign with the Reds...besides Eric Milton.
Why this makes no sense for the Cubs
-Do you really want to trade Zambrano inside the division?
-Cordero's falling strikeout rate has to be concerning, even though he's put up great numbers this season.
-Cordero is overpaid. How comfortable do the Cubs feel paying their closer $12 million a season?
Why this makes no sense for the Reds
-Are they in a position financially to take on Zambrano's contract?
-There is still much work to be done in Cincinnati. Zambrano is a very nice player to have around, but by no means can he be considered the final piece of the puzzle. This team needs more than Zambrano in order to compete in 2010 and beyond.
Bottom Line: Now here's a trade that actually makes sense.
The Cubs get the big time closer that they NEED while getting rid of Carlos Zambrano's nonsense, while the Reds add a big time pitcher with a big time arm.
This deal would set the Cubs up VERY nicely in 2010 and 2011 and the Reds could have a potentially dominant, young starting staff led by Zambrano, Cueto, and Volquez (once he returns).
Not too shabby, eh?