It's been a while since anyone has seen the Cubs' Carlos Zambrano pitch competitively, but the locals of Puerta La Cruz, Venezuela, will be treated to such things this winter. According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, Zambrano plans to pitch for Caribes de Anzoategui in the Venezuelan Winter League as he prepares to pitch in the majors again next season.
Zambrano, 30, hasn't pitched since August 12, the day he was put on the disqualified list by the Cubs. That followed a post-game clubhouse tirade during which he cleared out his locker and told Cubs employees that he was retiring. He isn't expected to return to Chicago next year, as the Cubs seek out ways to rid themselves of the mercurial right-handed pitcher.
On Tuesday, new President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein mentioned that he planned to speak with Zambrano soon, and presumably one of his first tasks with the Cubs will be to figure out this situation. Zambrano's owed nearly $18 million for 2012 and has a no-trade clause, so the team's trade partners will presumably be pretty limited. Chicago will likely have to eat a significant portion of his contract in order to trade him, but a strong showing in his native Venezuela will presumably make things a tad easier.
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