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  1. Zambrano also has 2.5 Hitting WAR over the last 3 years, the smallest annual total coming when he was predominantly a reliever in 2010. Volstad has 0.2.

    Comment by Ajay — January 4, 2012 @ 9:02 pm

  2. Should be fun to watch Ozzie and Zambrano get along.

    Comment by Jon — January 4, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

  3. maybe not predominantly a reliever in 2010, but yeah.

    Comment by Ajay — January 4, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

  4. Hanley Ramirez will help the club-house dynamic too.

    Comment by Preston — January 4, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

  5. I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not, but Ozzie and Zambrano are actually pretty good friends, bot heavily involved in the Venezuelan Winter League, and even work together on charity events.

    Comment by Jeff — January 4, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

  6. Maybe the should do a “The Franchise” with the Miami Marlins this year.

    Comment by Adam — January 4, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

  7. “Sole survivor of the Dusty Baker era”

    Don’t forget Kerry Wood.

    Comment by Crazy Benny — January 4, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

  8. I don’t think Kerry technically counts, because he has already left and came back.

    Comment by JayBandit — January 4, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

  9. then count Ryan Dempster, who was there in 2004, 2005 and 2006

    Comment by Tony — January 4, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

  10. Yea, because being buddies and doing commercials and seeing each other every day under extremely stressful situations is the same thing. how many times do best friends end up hating each other after they’re roommates? Now imagine they both have explosive personalities and their performance as roommates is heavily scrutinized.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — January 4, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

  11. Zambrano was basically allowed to throw tantrums until his performance wasn’t that good. The Cubs got more of what they tolerated.

    Pinella was especially absent in team control.

    When Z is performing well and throwing tantrums he’s “fiery”. When he’s not he’s a headache.

    With Ozzie, Zambrano might actually have a manager he respects.

    Everyone on the club loved Big Z when he was punching Barrett and destroying water coolers. When he was yelling at Lee and getting himself thrown out of the game, not so much.

    Sosa was pretty much the same deal, as is Soriano. Once the performance decreased they became intolerable. I suppose the same could be said of Rickey Henderson.

    I think we’ll see an improved Z in 2012, but maybe just for that season. Can’t wait for him to pitch against the Cubs. Ozzie and Z return to Chicago together. Should be an interesting week.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 4, 2012 @ 11:27 pm

  12. I don’t really understand Big Z’s 2013 vesting option. If there is any chance of the contract vesting, the Cubs did well to just get rid of the merest possibility of having to pay Zambrano for two more seasons.

    Comment by BurleighGrimes — January 4, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

  13. it’s a madhouse! A MAD HOUSE!!!

    Comment by JDanger — January 4, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

  14. I see your Heston and raise you Anthrax.

    Comment by steex — January 4, 2012 @ 11:54 pm

  15. only 2 guys left after 5 years?

    We really are cheering for clothes.

    Comment by shthar — January 4, 2012 @ 11:54 pm

  16. You painted some very different guys with a very crude brush. Sosa had no problems of temper, he was merely selfish. Soriano is an EXCELLENT teammate and a hard worker in physical aspects, just not a student of the game. Get your facts straight, or it’ll start to look like you view all Latino clubhouse misfits as the same guy, and that might not look good for you.

    Comment by Matt Trueblood — January 5, 2012 @ 12:32 am

  17. It vests if he is healthy and finishes top-four in Cy Young voting. The option’s a non-issue, then, because you can certainly handle paying through the nose for an extra year if both of those things are true. They won’t be, of course.

    Comment by Matt Trueblood — January 5, 2012 @ 12:33 am

  18. Not uncommon. Of the Philadelphia Phillies of 2006, only Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley remain. Player turnover is rampant in the league today, and often gets blown out of proportion if a team has played poorly and shakes things up.

    Comment by Matt Trueblood — January 5, 2012 @ 12:34 am

  19. Wasn’t Sean Marshall the first Cubs pitcher to be traded this off-season?

    Comment by Adam S — January 5, 2012 @ 2:11 am

  20. Carlos Ruiz, Shane Victorino and Cole Hamels were all on the 2006 Phillies.

    Comment by hk — January 5, 2012 @ 6:29 am

  21. I agree Matt. Soriano may be intolerable to watch play baseball, but he has handled the fans and media well, while avoiding any off the field issues.

    Comment by Joel — January 5, 2012 @ 7:47 am

  22. If I wanted to say that all Latin players were hotheads, I would have said it. I didn’t want to say that, so I didn’t. You perceived that.

    I said that the players had the “same deal”, where they were loved/adored while they were playing well, and then when they weren’t they became primarily known for their . That was the “fact” I was talking about.

    I’m saying fans/media are fickle, not that Latin players are all hotheads. Each player pretty much has the same personality for their career. The fans/media view of their personality was affected by the player’s performance.

    I’m not representing my own opinion or feeling, but merely describing how perceptions changed based on performance changes.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 5, 2012 @ 9:41 am

  23. Can durability really be flashed?

    Comment by Royo — January 5, 2012 @ 10:32 am

  24. Sox and Yankees both have four left from ’06: Cano, Jeter, A-Rod, Rivera, Youkilis, Ortiz, Beckett, Lester. (You could count Pedroia if you wanted, but he was a Sept. callup and had 98 PAs that year.)

    I would bet that a high turnover rate correlates with wins.

    Comment by Ari Collins — January 5, 2012 @ 11:28 am

  25. I still don’t see how you group Soriano in with the other two. His teammates still like him, which is something Z and Sosa couldn’t say. I’ve never seen a Soriano outburst, unlike Z and Sosa, and from everything I’ve read, he’s handled his diminished performance with class, not with outbursts. Even though he takes a lot of the blame from the fans for his terrible contract, it’s hardly his fault and he’s been nothing but gracious to the city.

    Comment by JohnnyComeLately — January 5, 2012 @ 11:55 am

  26. I think it’s good for the Cubs that they got rid of Zambrano, but there is no way Volstad is better than Zambrano. Volstad appears to be a pitcher whose ERA is always higher than his xFIP, due to some unexplained variables still missing from the xFIP calculation. Moving to a park that punishes hard contact will not help him at all. Unless he has a lucky BABIP year, I don’t see his actual ERA ever approaching 4.

    Zambrano on the other hand is a pitcher who has outperformed his xFIP every year but one (2011). He possesses some skill that allows him to do this. Perhaps he lost it last year. But if he didn’t, then he could be much more than a #5 starter. It sounds like the Marlins will only have to pay him $3-$4 million this year and then he is gone. If they feel they are close to being a playoff team, then this move makes perfect sense.

    Volstad’s ceiling looks to be 2 WAR. Zambrano’s ceiling looks to be 4 WAR. Could 2 wins be the difference between the Marlins making the playoffs vs. missing out? It could and so this is a risk I believe worth taking.

    Comment by Kevin — January 5, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

  27. The unexplainable variables missing are: (1) luck and randomness 95%, (2) pitching from the stretch or “losing it” with men on base, 4.99%, and (3) ability to limit homers per flyball, .01%, unless Dave Righetti is your pitching coach.

    Whoops, I guess they are explainable.

    I kid.

    Comment by wobatus — January 5, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

  28. Player turnover has been rampant throughout the history of the game. The causes may have changed a bit but rosters have always been in flux.

    Comment by Ronin — January 5, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

  29. Kerry Wood’s arm didn’t survive the Dusty Baker era, though.

    Comment by Kevin — January 5, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

  30. An example 1927 Yankees vs 1931 Yankees only 5 players that appeared with the Yankees in both years.

    Comment by Ronin — January 5, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

  31. Exactly. Remember anytime there is any fuzziness or error percieved in a metric it is due to luck and randomness (UZR anyone?).

    I kid too.

    Comment by Ronin — January 5, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

  32. Can eternal love be fleeting?

    Comment by Confucius — January 5, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  33. Is it reasonable to cite “Volstad’s ability to outperform his ERA”?
    Would it not be more accurate to say that, historically, he has under-performed his peripherals?

    Comment by Colm — January 5, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

  34. Soriano is different than Zambrano and Sosa in some ways, particularly no outbursts or cheating.

    Soriano is very likeable. He and my son had a great player-fan moment before a game a few years ago.

    But, in 2007 and before you didn’t hear things said about Soriano’s effort, free swinging, slider chasing, absent minded defense, and/or polite ways of saying he’s stupid or apathetic.

    He’s been the same guy all along. He’s just not the same player.

    Maybe that’s the way to say it …. these guys were always who they were as guys, they just became different players. Fans/media allow the change in player to affect their perception of the guy.

    I think of Soriano the same today as I did of him in 2007 as a personality. His performance is reduced, but he’s the same dude he’s always been.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — January 5, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

  35. @Ronin. Yup.

    Comment by wobatus — January 5, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

  36. He has under-resulted his process.

    Comment by wobatus — January 5, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  37. I think he is trying to say that he has the potential to outperform his past ERA, which would be roughly equivalent to your statement. As a Cubs fan, I like that Epstein and Co. are showing a willingness to take a shot at such “gambles”.

    Comment by Kevin — January 6, 2012 @ 1:42 am

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