Here is some great news for all cubs fans. According to the Sun-Times-
MESA, Ariz. — Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano said today his comments earlier in the week were misconstrued and that he never gave the Cubs an ultimatum that they must sign him by the season opener or lose him to free agency after the season.
Speaking publicly for the first time since his televised comments Monday were reported as being an ultimatum, Zambrano also said the club since has made its first formal multiyear offer — a five-year proposal ‘‘very close’’ to what the San Francisco Giants gave free agent pitcher Barry Zito this winter. That would mean an offer worth close to $90 million.
Zito signed a seven-year, $126-million deal, a record contract value for a pitcher.
Clarifying his earlier comments, Zambrano said, ‘‘I didn’t say that if they didn’t sign me before the end of spring training I will not sign with the Cubs. I said they have till the beginning of the season to sign me or I won’t negotiate during the season.’’
As for his remark that he ‘‘must go’’ if a deal isn’t struck by the opener, he said he meant that he must go to free agency, and added that the Cubs would have the first shot at signing him at that point.
‘‘I must go, because if they don’t sign me I must go to free agency, right?’’ he said. ‘‘They have the first look after the season if I don’t sign before the season starts.
‘‘This is the team that gave me the opportunity to play baseball since I was 16 years old. I want to stay here. ... I want to sign with the Cubs. But I just don’t want to talk about contracts during the season.’’
Zambrano, a 16-game winner last year who is scheduled to start the Cubs’ opener for the third straight year, is in his final offseason of arbitration eligibility. He has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday if he and the club don’t agree to terms on at least a one-year deal before then.
This is great news! If the cubs in fact can get Carlos for 5 years about 15-18 million a year would be a steal. Its always hard to commit lots of year to pitchers because of risk with arm problems, but Zambrano being so young this would mean he would be a free agent around 31. If the cubs can get this done before Opening Day or even his arbitration hearing it would be a huge PLUS. They wouldnt have to worry about the story lines all year of "where is Z gonna end up" and " should he stay with the cubs." Zambrano is the ace of this staff and I would love to see him be that ace for a very long time to come!
This story is also backed up by Bruce Levine. He said the cubs are working out a deal with Z for 5 years 70-90 million.
Pie and Soriano showed up early to Spring Training today. Position players didn't have to report until Monday but the guys wanted to get a head start. Here is the article-