Zito vs. Zambrano

Posted By on August 16, 2011 12:39 pm

Prompted by Buster Olney’s suggestion in his blog this morning that the Giants and Cubs ought to consider a Zito-for-Zambrano swap, I threw it out there on the Twitterverse. I also made the caveat that the Giants would have to chip in to even out the money. I got a lot of strong reactions … both ways. (By the way, I really don’t think this is going to happen, so this is just a fun little theoretical debate.)

Here’s the tale of the tape, so to speak…

  Zito Zambrano
Age 33 30
ERA in '11 5.62 4.82
ERA, '09-'11 4.27 3.99
Remaining salary (starting in '12) $46M through '14 $18M through '12

As for the salaries, I’m starting with 2012, since obviously they aren’t going to make a trade now, with Zito hurt. I’ve also assumed that Zambrano won’t have his option vest by finishing in the top four in the Cy Young voting in 2012, and I’m assuming that Zito’s 2014 deal will be bought out for $7 million. So that means Zito is guaranteed $46 million and Zambrano $18 million. It’s not quite as even as I thought. The Giants would have to trade Zito and $28 million to the Cubs for Zambrano, to make it a wash.

Based purely on the physical — Zambrano’s age and performance when he’s behaved himself — it seems like you’d be better off with him. However, the behavior thing is a big deal. It’s not just like Barry Bonds clubhouse grumpiness. We’re talking fights with teammates and going AWOL.

Anyway, what do you think?

Would you trade Barry Zito for Carlos Zambrano, with the money being equal?

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2 Responses to “Zito vs. Zambrano”

  1. Frank says:

    The Cubs are willing to cut him because he is such a cancer — at least with Zito he is not disruptive. Since we do not gain any financial leverage we are better off cutting Zito, bringing Runzler or Surkamp up and cut our losses. Nothing good comes from Zambrano on the team.

  2. Mike says:

    At the very least, Zambrano would suddenly become the Giants’ most imposing hitter.

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