The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Cubs have informed $91.5-million starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano that he will be demoted from the starting rotation to the bullpen, effective Friday.
Manager Lou Pineilla said Zambrano will serve as the eighth inning setup man and Ted Lilly will come off the disabled list to take Zambrano's spot in the rotation. What will happen over the longterm is the subject of much speculation.
Zambrano said the move is only temporary until the team can find some right handed relief help via trade of free agency. Pineilla said he's not so sure it's not a permanent move. While the skipper gets the final say, it is worth noting that Lou is in the final year of his Cubs contract while Zambrano will keep getting paid by the Wee Bears for three more years to the tune of $45 million.
There was speculation that the Cubs would try to deal Zambrano this spring but the pitcher publicly stated that he would exercise his veto power to nix any trade -- even one to the Yankees. I wonder if the Cubs might be trying to insult Zambrano's pride enough that he is willing to reconsider...