Cubs' Zambrano not returning this year
The Cubs said Friday they'll pay Zambrano after the suspension ends but there's insufficient time for him to get ready to pitch again. The Cubs also said a grievance filed on Zambrano's behalf will be processed by the players' union, Major League Baseball and the team during the offseason.
Zambrano cleaned out his locker and talked about retiring after giving up five homers and being ejected during a loss to Atlanta on Aug. 12. His ejection followed two inside pitches to Chipper Jones.
He said he intended to be at the ballpark the next day, but his agent Barry Praver told him not to ''because we were in the middle of discussions with the union and the Cubs.'' The Cubs placed Zambrano on the disqualified list the next day and said he would receive no pay and have no part in team activities for 30 days.
Zambrano was also put on a restricted list last season after he became incensed by what he thought was poor defense against the White Sox and got into a shouting match with then-teammate Derrek Lee. Zambrano underwent anger management counseling, returned to the team and pitched well.
The Cubs expected more when Zambrano signed a $91.5 million deal over five seasons through 2012, including a $17.85 million salary this season and $18 million in 2012.
Zambrano is 125-81 with a 3.60 career ERA after breaking in with the Cubs in 2001. He has thrown a no-hitter against the Astros. He was 9-7 this season before the suspension, but his pitching has often been overshadowed by his outbursts.
In 2009, he went on tirade against an umpire, throwing a baseball into the outfield, pretending to eject the umpire and slamming his glove against the dugout fence, a tantrum that led to a suspension.
In 2007, he got into a fight with teammate and catcher Michael Barrett, first in the dugout and then in the locker room. Barrett ended up with a bruise under his eye and a cut lip.