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MLB Winter Meetings 2011: Miami Marlins Asking About Chicago Cubs Pitcher Carlos Zambrano, According To Report

The Miami Marlins recently signed closer Heath Bell to a deal and free agent shortstop Jose Reyes to a lucrative six-year, $106 million deal, one for which SB Nation's Rob Neyer provided a thoughtful breakdown, but is seems the team is not done spending heading into the MLB Winter Meetings. According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Marlins have asked about the price of Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano:

 cst_Cowley 
Oakland's Gio Gonzalez is on the map, as well as a visit with the Cubs for the asking price on Zambrano.

 

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The Marlins have no problem taking the payroll from $45 million to the $100 million range.

 

It is important to note that Joe Cowley is believed to be very close to current Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, who has discussed liking Zambrano as far back as the days when Guillen was the manager of the White Sox. It is unknown what the Cubs would be willing to do to trade Zambrano, who recently spoke with President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and is personally convinced he will be back with the Cubs in 2012. Zambrano will be owed $18M in 2012 and will be 31 in June. In 2011, he started in only 24 games, sporting a near-career-worst 4.82 ERA and 4.59 FIP.    

For more updates on Chicago sports, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of the Cubs, head over to Bleed Cubbie Blue. Also, check out MLB Daily Dish for more Cubs rumors and transactions.