Phillies Sign Big Z

zambranoThe Phillies woke up this morning 19-21, but just 3 ½ games behind the Braves in the National League East.

As inconsistent as they have been, they believe they have a shot to make the postseason.

So they took a chance today and signed talented, but controversial right-hander Carlos Zambrano to a Minor League deal. Zambrano will report to Clearwater, Fla., where he will begin working out in extended Spring Training. He has until July 1 to prove himself before he can exercise an opt-out clause in his contract.

“No promises were made, but this was just an opportunity to add some starting pitching depth,” Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said.

Zambrano went 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA in 35 appearances (20 starts) last season with the Marlins. He is 132-91 with a 3.66 ERA in a career spent mostly with the Cubs, but he has become notorious for his outbursts, which have involved fights with teammates like Derrek Lee and Michael Barrett, battered water coolers and criticism of fans. He has been suspended twice as a result.

But if Zambrano shows he has enough in his right arm to help the Phillies, they are willing to take a shot. They need help with right-hander Roy Halladay having shoulder surgery today in Los Angeles. Halladay said he hopes to pitch again this season, but that is no guarantee.

“We got a feel for his desire to come back and his sincerity about that and what kind of condition he’s had to put himself in,” Proefrock said about Zambrano. “Again, it’s a Minor League deal. It’s not like we’re signing him to a $90 million deal like the Cubs did. You still want to make sure you get a guy that’s committed and will conduct himself appropriately. As far as we’re concerned that was satisfied.”

The Phillies watched Zambrano throw Monday in Miami, and apparently liked what they saw. Zambrano could not find a team to sign him in the offseason, but he pitched in Winter Ball and participated with Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.

Since then he has continued working out, hoping a team would give him a shot.

Jorge Valandia, one of our instructors in the Minor Leagues, was a GM with that club (in Winter Ball) and had some interaction with him,” Proefrock said. “We got positive feedback with everyone who has interacted with him recently. Again, we’re just looking to add some depth and some experience. We did our due diligence as we always do. It’s just good business.

“One of the things that happened to us in the offseason, once we signed (John) Lannan, we pursued a lot of different guys to give ourselves some starting pitching depth in Triple-A. Scott Kasmir was a guy that we tried to sign to a Minor League deal. Once we signed Lannan and had five Major League pitchers on the staff, it’s tough to sign that kind of guy and say that you have an opportunity for him. Would we have done this without Roy? I can’t say we wouldn’t have because we’ve talked about it with other guys in that situation to add some depth and experience in Triple A. It’s low risk, hopefully high reward.”


If I hear the phrase “low risk, high reward” one more time, I’m gonna barf! This is Amaro’s mantra whenever he decides to go trash picking.

Just another poor decision by the so called GM Amaro. Why would any team want this Raging Fool on their team ,regardless if there is any talent remaining .
Does Dave Montgomery have what it takes to cut bait and realize Amaro isn’t what this franchise needs another GM ? One fit for the task.

I agee that this is nothing more than trash picking, but it’s not a “poor decision”. It won’t cost anything if it doesn’t work. Gotta try somethng when your “Ace” is 1-6 and can’t pitch past the 5th inning.

The six starts after Hamels first 2 blowouts and before this last blowout. Looks like he got past the 5th inning a couple times, huh? Oh, and let’s see, Phils get shutout twice, score one run twice, and lose another one run ballgame. Kinda looks like Cliff Lees April/May of last year. The big issue is the walks by Hamels this year. No idea why that’s happening.
05/09 @ ARI L 1-2 6.0 6 2 2 0 5 3 11 8 27 98 L(1-5) — 4.18
05/04 vs MIA L 0-2 8.0 4 2 2 2 0 6 10 12 29 106 L(1-4) — 4.34
04/28 @ NYM W 5-1 6.0 2 1 1 0 6 8 7 5 26 111 W(1-3) — 4.78
04/23 vs PIT L 0-2 8.0 7 2 2 1 1 6 13 14 34 118 L(0-3) — 5.40
04/18 vs STL L 3-4 7.0 5 3 3 0 2 8 6 11 27 98 — — 6.46
04/13 @ MIA L 1-2 6.0 3 1 1 0 3 5 8 7 23 90 — — 7.56

How is giving a 31 year old 4 time all-star guy a minor league deal with no major league promise a poor decision? Its just giving the guy a shot. If he looks good he’ll get a shot in the majors again. If not, he gets cut without even getting to the majors and nothing is lost.

Gonna channel my inner Star Wars..”Bad feeling about this I have.” The good news is that it is only a minor league deal and he has to prove himself. With his rep I would be surprised if he makes it, and I hope he doesn’t with us. Let him infect another team.

They can use a good right-handed bat. Play him in the outfield.

This is not a bad deal as long as Zambrano is nothing but insurance against future calamity and as long as they keep him away from the 25 man roster until such time as a calamity occurs.. We don’t need the Phillies giving Charlie another “former Allstar” to play with considering what he did with Pedro Martinez in 2009.

Remember when Ruben said he wants the team to get younger?

Big Z is only 31. Even last year in a down year for Zambrano he still outpitched Joe Blanton(who is older). But Blanton was serviceable and Zambrano will be too if he is called up. I don’t understand why people are complaining about this move.

You have to understand. Ruin, excuse me, I mean Ruben, and muleman are best buds so you have to take anything muleman says with a grain of salt.

Wondering how my comment could be interpreted as support of Amaro? Regardless of Zambrano’s age, he isn’t one of their young arms in the minor leagues, and that should be the first place they look to for help, not some reclamation project.
…and, he’ll be 32 in two weeks, smartass.

Somewhere Delmon Young is smiling…….

What’s Milton Bradley up to these days?

Zambrano is a nut job so he could make things “interesting” if called up. Maybe he could be a long man and replace the Valdez/Durbin duo who have been god awful.

Karen, it is not the flaming nuts like Zambrano we have to worry about, rather, it is the quiet ones. I will not tell you who these are other than to give you their initials: Ruin, Charlie, Rich and Dave.

Maybe they have Jamie Moyer on speed dial.

Maybe some crazy and character is what this group needs. Not a huge fan of Zambrano, but beggers can’t be choosers and honestly what do you have to lose here?

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