Carlos Zambrano talks trade clause
"If they come to me and want to trade me, obviously it's because they don't want me here anymore," Zambrano told the website. "I always say that. I'll be here until the Cubs decide to trade me."
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The Cubs have dealt with no-trade clauses before with other players, such as former first baseman Derrek Lee. Lee invoked his no-trade protection and turned down a potential trade to the Los Angeles Angels before accepting a deal to go to the Atlanta Braves.
"I won't be like other players with no-trade clauses and say, 'No, I want to stay here, I want to stay here,' " Zambrano said, according to the website. "I've heard rumors. I've already talked to my family. They said, 'It's OK. If you think it's good for you, if you feel you want to be traded, do it.' "
On May 5, Zambrano made some critical comments about closer Carlos Marmol's pitch selection and said that the Cubs played like a Triple-A team. Zambrano apologized the next day and reiterated that he didn't want to be traded.
"No, I definitely want to stay here with the Cubs," Zambrano said then. "I don't want to think about a trade right now. I want to think about helping this team.
"I have a mission here. I've said it since I've been in the big leagues, and that mission is to win with the Cubs. Anything can happen in the big leagues. Anything can happen in the next two months. The previous two months we didn't play well, we didn't pitch good."
Even with a recent string of success, the Cubs are still near the bottom of the league with a 29-40 record. Though Zambrano's preference is to stay with the club, unloading his large contract may be something the team is interested in doing. Cubs general manager Jim Hendry has said on numerous occasions that he would not talk in public about potential player movement.
Zambrano is in the fourth year of a five-year, $91.5 million extension he signed in August 2007. He is scheduled to make $18 million in 2012.
Zambrano is 5-4 this season with a 4.59 ERA.
Sahadev Sharma is a regular contributor to ESPNChicago.com.