The Chicago Cubs have agreed to trade pitcher Carlos Zambrano to the Miami Marlins in exchange for pitcher Chris Volstad, according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel adds that the Cubs are paying $15.5 million of the remaining $18 million on Zambrano's contract, which runs through next season. The deal is still pending the approval of the commissioner's office given that the transaction involves more than $1 million.
Zambrano, 30, joins a Miami rotation with Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Anibal Sanchez and Ricky Nolasco. The Marlins are paying little to acquire him other than Volstad, given that removing Volstad's salary from their payroll essentially offsets what they'll add by having to compensate Big Z.
For the Cubs, Volstad gives them a cheap, young starting pitcher with at least a touch of upside. MLBTR projects Volstad's 2012 salary at $2.7 million, which isn't a whole lot to pay to a 25-year-old with three years of starting experience under his belt. With a career ERA of 4.59, Volstad isn't exactly an impact player, but he's sure to be useful and could even develop into a solid mid-rotation starter.
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