MIAMI — Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Carlos Zambrano was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Miami Marlins on Thursday in a deal that will see the Cubs pay most of the South American’s salary for this season. New Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, a long-time friend of compatriot Zambrano, filled out his team’s starting rotation for the upcoming Major League Baseball season in exchange for pitcher Chris Volstad. The Cubs will pay all but US$2.5 million of the US$18 million salary that Zambrano is due for the 2012 campaign to pitch alongside Anibal Sanchez, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco. Zambrano went 9-7 last year in a season that ended early. After Atlanta batters tagged him for five home runs in a game last August, Zambrano was ejected for throwing an inside pitch to Chipper Jones. Zambrano, known for emotional outbursts, departed the stadium early and told teammates that he was retiring. He did not pitch again but his retirement was short-lived, more from anger than lack of desire. “We went into this with our eyes open. What has happened has happened,” said Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest.
Zambrano has a career record of 125-81 with a 3.61 earned-run average over 319 major league games. He also has hit 23 career homers, the most by any pitcher since 24 by Bob Gibson, who retired in 1975.