Yesterday, we heard the Yankees linked–though it was obviously a fabricated link–to someone they’ve been linked to before: Carlos Zambrano. Two Chicago writers penned scenarios that would send Big Z to the Yankees.
Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago thinks the Cubs could get Joba Chamberlain or Brett Gardner for Zambrano, but that’s an absolute joke. There’s no way the Yankees would do that, and the MLBTR article says that, too. The only way Zambrano comes to the Yankees is going to be if the Cubs are doing a straight salary dump. He’s scheduled to make $17.875M this year, is guaranteed $18M in 2012, with a vesting option for 2013 worth $19.25M “1) he is first or second in 2011 Cy Young vote or if he finishes in top 4 in 2012 Cy Young vote and 2) he is healthy at end of 2012″ (Cot’s).
That’s…ugly. But, since we’re trying to be fair, let’s look at the numbers.
Zambrano’s strikeouts are down to 6.02 (8.12 in 2010, 7.63 career), but so are the walks at 2.80 (4.04 career). His groundball rate is trending downwards, which is not encouraging, but he’s doing a good job of keeping the ball in the park with a HR/FB% at 5.6, which is about what it’s been in the last few years. His ERA/FIP/xFIP line is more or less fine at 3.98/3.57/4.12 as well.
The numbers match up and if the Cubs were willing to get nothing but money and a very, very, very minor prospect in return this might make sense, if not for the contract. That contract is just absolutely awful and regardless of the small prospect price, the Yankees need to just say no to Zambrano. Not only is the idea that Levine floated incredibly unrealistic, but so is any trade involving Zambrano to the Yankees (or probably anyone for that matter).
Why bother writing about this, then? Well, because things like this need to be nipped in the bud immediately. Obviously it doesn’t matter that much since the guys that matter don’t pay attention to this stuff, but the more writers that run with things, the more legs things like these get in the rest of the media/blogosphere and that’s just frustrating. As friend of the blog Joe Pawlikowski likes to say your trade proposal sucks.
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