According to David Kaplan, the Kansas City Royals will look into a Carlos Zambrano trade, but only if the price is right and if it will help the club and in the future.  Kaplan was told about the Royals having interest in Zambrano by Mark Carman of 610 Sports Radio.  Carman had talked to Royals General Manager Dayton Moore.

Moore’s comments on pitcher Carlos Zambrano:
“We would have to be interested. We would have to explore it because that’s what you should do. You should explore every opportunity. Carlos Zambrano is a heckuva competitor.  Carlos Zambrano has had a lot of success in the major leagues. Carlos Zambrano is actually a very pleasant, easy going, classy person off the field. Sometimes, as with all of us the competitiveness takes over and brings out qualities in us that we are not proud of. Obviously the Cubs grew tired of some of his outbursts but I believe in our coaching staff and we’ll always take a chance and a risk on certain players. We’ll see how that particular situation unfolds.”

Moore also said this:
“He has a no-trade clause for 29 other teams so he is going to have to be comfortable wherever he goes and there is a lot of money attached to his deal. There is a vesting option that is a part of that worth $18 or 19 million going forward. We certainly wouldn’t want to put ourselves in a position where we have to honor a contract of that nature.”

Carlos Zambrano is due to make $18 million in 2012 and has a $19.25 million vesting option for 2013.  The 2013 vesting option will be guaranteed if Zambrano finishes in the top 4 in Cy Young Award voting for the 2012 season, which is highly unlikely.

I can’t see the Royals taking on even half of Zambrano’s salary, considering their small-market status.  If the Cubs were to take on most of or all of the contract, maybe the Cubs could get a better return.  Another option could be the Cubs paying very little of the contract and getting almost nothing in return.  Jed Hoyer mentioned last week that the Ricketts family will let the Cubs eat any contract if it helps the team.  So, we can see that a trade is the first option.  If the Cubs and Royals want to get tricky, they could make the trade bigger, with the both Cubs and Royals offering more pieces.  One guy I would love the Cubs to acquire is 3B/LF Alex Gordon; however, that does not seem likely as the Royals look like they want to win at long last.  Out of all three options I mentioned, I see the Cubs paying a majority of the contract and getting better prospects in return as the most likely scenario. The Royals farm system is the best in baseball, and very deep in talent.

It looks like the Royals are all about pitching right now as they traded Melky Cabrera to San Francisco for Jonathan Sanchez and a minor league pitcher.

Buster Olney wrote that the Cubs are expected to deal with the Carlos Zambrano situation next week.  Right now, Zambrano has been pitching in Venezuela for the Caribes de Anzoategui of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.

About a month ago, we heard that Zambrano may go to Miami to join his friend and former Manager of the Chicago White Sox, Ozzie Guillen.  As much as Guillen wants Zambrano, the Marlins front office doesn’t.  They already have Hanley Ramirez and doesn’t need another headcase, So a Zambrano to Miami (as the Florida Marlins will officially change there name to on November 11th) trade does not look likely anymore.

When Zambrano is said to be available, more teams are expected to have interest, states David Kaplan.

I expect the Carlos Zambrano situation to be finalized sooner than later.  My guess would be a trade, whether it is to the Royals or to another team.  I just can’t see Zambrano throwing another pitch in Cubbie Blue.

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