[QUOTE]Getting a little real here, this is what the money looks like: Zambrano still owed $39M over two years unless the team getting him avoids an IP option, in which case it is $20M Lackey is $45M over 3 years unless Lackey misses time to elbow surgery. In which case it will be $45.7M over 4 years. So the money moving is only about $6M difference in all likelihood. So what do you have here? Lackey who has been a disappointment in Boston , may have elbow issues that could net a team an extra year at MLB minimum. Lackey's biggest issue beyond stinking it up this year is his facial expressions. Or Zambrano who is a clubhouse poison and has been lousy too for a long time. Personally I wouldn't do the deal, but it actually has some appeal to the Cubs. If they can't swap bad contracts they are at the pint where they are going to cut this guy and be on the hook for $39M. As counter inituative as it sounds Lackey for $6.5M more isn't such a bad deal.
Posted by fivekatz[/QUOTE]
Wow. I disagree with fivekatz.
I’d send Lackey for Zambrano. Zambrano’s tantrums are massively overblown.
In 2007, Zambrano had his first one. He punched Cubs catcher Michael Barrett in the face during a game. This moment was credited with a turnaround in the Cubs season that sent them to the post-season. And it also seemed to plant the idea in Zambrano’s head that he could incite his team to play better. He only seems to have his fits when the team is struggling and not playing as well as he wants, and in spirit, this is not necessarily a bad thing.
However, it went downhill in 2010, when he tried to same thing going after Derrek Lee. Picking a fight with Michael Barrett was one thing, but Derrek Lee? Not the same. Apparnetly half of the league would have liked to punch Barrett in the face. In 2006, Barrett got into a fight at home plate with AJ Pierzynski, which msde the cover of Baseball Digest. Every year, McDonalds runs a campaign in Chicago featuring White Sox and Cubs players during their interleague series. In 2007, the series featured one player from one team pranking a player from the other. AJ Pierzynski, who is the most public face of the White Sox, was supposed to shoot his with Barrett. He refused, and instead did one with – you guessed it - Carlos Zambrano.
But Zambrano seemed labeled after the Lee incident. This year, he tiraded after being pulled from a game against the Braves. That ultimately lead to his pending dismissal from the Cubs.
Zambrano is certainly not the ace he once was, but he is a better pitcher than Lackey. If the Sox do want to dump Lackey, this is one of their better chances to do it. I wouldn’t touch Zito, who is not much better of a pitcher, cannot stay healthy, and has full no-trade protection and has always expressed a desire to not go to the East Coast. And since Barry thinks of Chicago as the East Coast (he does!), he probably thinks Boston is located in Europe.
Where else would you send Lackey? Another potential match dump is to the Angels for Vernon Wells. Wells could replace JD Drew in RF, and in also in our hearts. The Angels might not want Lackey back, but certainly would move Wells (2 yrs $46mill) to create an opening in the OF for hotshot rookie Mike Trout, who is easily the best Angels OF named after a fish since Tim Salmon.
My bet would be Lackey is in Boston in 2012. Hopefully he can put 2011 behind him.