Big Z Back in the Mix? – Wrigley Field 12/1/11

Posted on 01 December 2011 by Lou

In addition to Cubs President Theo Epstein being open to Carlos Zambrano’s return to the Cubs clubhouse, it looks like veteran reliever Kerry Wood would also be open assuming it is done the “right way”.  Wood spoke with ESPN Radio 1000’s Carmen, Jurko and Harry show yesterday and had this to say about Big Z: “I think it’s something that he’s going to have a lot of new teammates that haven’t been through the history with him.  I think Z has got to worry more about the guys he’s done this to a few times.  He can have a better impression on the new teammates. The ultimate result is we need him to be a part of this team and help us win.  He can be a big part of that… It’s going to be something he’s going to have to address when he comes in and talks to guys and obviously we go from there. But if he wants to be a part of this team and help us win, if he can do it the right way, guys will be willing to have him back in there.”

I think Theo & Co. realize that they are going to have to eat a HUGE chunk of his salary just to “get rid of him”.  At this point, even though he’s already had a ton of chances, why not give him another shot and see if he can earn some respect and pitch well at the beginning of the season.  Big Z had some great starts in the first part of the season, but GM Jim Hendry missed the boat in moving him when his stock was high.  Something tells me that that won’t happen on Theo’s watch.  If he has a good April or May, and shows that he can keep his head on straight, then Theo & Co can potentially make a move where you bring in a few young players from a playoff contender that is dealing with a starting pitcher injury issue.  At that point, the “buying” club might even be able to take on a little more of his salary too.

Essentially, it’s a lose-lose situation for the Cubs, but if you give him a little more leash into April/May, it may simply become a less of a “lose-lose” situation. I guess we’ll know more about what Theo & Co. intend to do with Big Z after next week’s GM meetings…

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