<
>

Cubs righty expects to get extension after season

7/16/2007 - MLB Carlos Zambrano Chicago Cubs + more

CHICAGO -- Carlos Zambrano said Monday he wants to stay with
the Cubs and has faith that he will eventually sign a contract
extension.

Carlos Zambrano

Zambrano

Starting Pitcher
Chicago Cubs

Profile

"That's what I feel, man, that I will sign back with the
Cubs," Chicago's ace right-hander said.

Zambrano, currently an 11-game winner who can be a free agent
after this season, initially wanted a new deal in place by Opening
Day. But talks about a multiyear contract stalled after it was
announced the team was going to be sold.

Tribune Co., which owns the team, announced in April that it was
selling itself for $8.2 billion to Chicago real estate mogul Sam
Zell, who made the deal contingent on shedding noncore assets. That
means the Cubs will go on the auction block at the end of the
season.

"Hopefully, all the things about the company selling and all
that stuff will be resolved and I can be signed," Zambrano said
Monday before the Cubs met the San Francisco Giants at Wrigley
Field.

"I want to stay here. We'll see what happens at the end of the
season with how I finish this season and how I can help this team
go to the playoffs."

After a slow start, Zambrano is 11-7 overall and 6-2 in his last
eight starts since he got in a fight with then-Cubs catcher Michael
Barrett on June 1.

"I'm pitching good. I think I want to focus more on baseball.
The contract I know will come if I do a good job," Zambrano said.

He acknowledged that the pending sale of the team had
complicated negotiations. He said that his agent, Barry Praver, had
talked with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, but not to discuss a
deal.

"I talked to him two days ago and he told me he hasn't talked
to the Cubs about a contract," Zambrano said. "He said he talked
to Jim but otherwise no about my contract. Like I said we'll see at
the end of the season."

Since there are ongoing negotiations, does Zambrano have a
timetable?

"I don't say now. I don't say next week. I don't say next
month. I say at the end of the season. Yeah," he said.

Asked if his price tag rises with each victory, Zambrano
chuckled.

"That's a good question. I'll pass on that. I'll have to talk
to my agent," he said.