As most of you know, the newest commotion in Chicago now appears to be whether or not Carlos Zambrano means what he says. Said Zambrano: “I want to sign with the Cubs before the season starts. If they don’t sign me, sorry, but I must go. That’s what Carlos Zambrano thinks.”
Jim Hendry, on the other hand thinks Carlos is bluffing. He so much as said so when he was quoted as saying:
“Basically, that statement has never been conveyed to me…Carlos and his representatives have always made it clear that the Cubs are where he wants to be. I certainly have no problem with a player with five-plus years wanting to have a deal by Opening Day, but if you don’t have one, it doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a parting of ways.”
My question to Jim Hendry is very simple: What part of “I must go” don’t you understand? Does he think that Zambrano is fibbing? Is Hendry daring Z-Man to leave, is he throwing down the gauntlet? Hendry’s public response to Zambrano does not bring the two sides closer together – rather it increases the distance between the two negotiating sides. It’s tantamount to saying ‘oh well, that was just Carlos running his mouth.’ What exactly does that accomplish?
I am hopeful that Hendry and Zambrano’s agents come to a five year agreement prior to Zambrano’s arbitration hearing on Tuesday; the Cubs will surely win their arbitration and that will only further alienate Z-Man from the Cubs. After watching the Cubs spend gobs of money on Soriano, DeRosa Lilly and Marquis, Cubs fans know that Zambrano will now cost a lot more than he would have cost just five months ago. Had Hendry only prioritized better we would not be where we are today. Let’s get ‘er done Hendry! If anything, Zambrano’s worth more money than what Schmidt got.