Wednesday left us hanging, with Carlos Zambrano about to be traded from the Cubs to the Marlins, but with Carlos Zambrano not yet having been traded from the Cubs to the Marlins. There were still a few little things to tie up.
Those things have been tied up. Ken Rosenthal:
Zambrano deal official. He waived no-trade and $19.25M opt for '13 that would have kicked in if he finished in top 4 of Cy vote.
Carlos Zambrano is officially a member of the Miami Marlins, with the Marlins responsible for $3 million of his 2012 salary. Barring an extension, he is set to become a free agent after the year. Chris Volstad, meanwhile, is officially a member of the Chicago Cubs. And the Cubs will pay the other $15 million of Zambrano's 2012 salary.
The Marlins' starting rotation now shakes out as something like:
There's some incredible talent here. Johnson has been a #1. Buehrle has been a #1. Nolasco has been a #1. Zambrano has been a #1. Sanchez has never been a #1, but he has at times pitched like one. Look at the names, and this is an intimidating staff.
On the other hand, Johnson is fragile, Buehrle doesn't miss bats, Nolasco's strikeouts are trending poorly, and Zambrano is Zambrano. So this is also a volatile staff. All pitching staffs are volatile, but this one looks especially so.
The 2012 Miami Marlins are looking like a grand experiment. If you're going to experiment, you might as well take a chance on Carlos Zambrano. If Zambrano succeeds in a new place under Ozzie Guillen, the Marlins will look like shrewd geniuses. If Zambrano barely out-pitches the departed Volstad, or doesn't out-pitch him at all, then they will look less like geniuses.
As for the Cubs? This is good for the Cubs.