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Ever seen a $17.875MM reliever? Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs are moving Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen on Friday.Carlos Silva will remain in the rotation; Tyler Kepner of the New York Times recently looked at his potential resurgence.
According to MLBTR and the Chicago Tribune What happened to him.
The Chicago Cubs confirmed reports that manager Lou Piniella is moving struggling starter Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen, in a move that may not be temporary."I told him we really needed him in the bullpen," Piniella told reporters in New York before facing the Mets, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "We felt he could do a really nice job for us there."He said he would do what's best for the team. I'm very appreciative. We've talked about maturing. This proves it to me."Zambrano is 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA in four starts, and the move makes room for Ted Lilly, who is returning to the Cubs' starting rotation on Saturday in Milwaukee after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery."[Piniella] told me that probably [assistant general manager] Randy [Bush] or [GM] Jim Hendry was looking for an eighth-inning guy," Zambrano told the Tribune. "And when they find a guy and trade [for a] guy and get that guy here, I will be back to the rotation."Right now they need somebody to step up in the eighth inning. I don't like to be a reliever. I don't want to be a reliever, but this team needs somebody to step up and help the bullpen."The Cubs scouted free-agent pitcher Braden Looper on Monday, a source told ESPNChicago.com.The Cubs' bullpen ERA entering action Wednesday was 6.15 with a 1-6 record. The bullpen has blown 4-of-7 save opportunities this season."I'm confident this will help our situation out," Piniella said, according to the Tribune. "This makes all the sense in the world. This is a significant move, not a panic move."Zambrano, who has started the last six Opening Days, signed a contract extension in 2007 for five years and $91.5 million. He is making $18.875 this season."I'm shocked," White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said on "The Afternoon Saloon" on ESPN 1000, when told of the move. "With a guy with his stuff, you can't believe that would happen."The way he has thrown the ball over his career, and all that he has done for that organization, to see that happen ... I've seen that he's thrown the ball not up to what he normally does. He's going to get it turned around. He has a track record. It just surprises me that they would make that move."Pierzynski understands the politics involved with such a move."It's a tough situation," Pierzynski said. "He's not going to want to come out and say anything bad about the organization, and the organization is not going to want to come out and say anything bad about him."They still have a long time together with the contract he signed a couple years ago, so it's a tough situation for both. Carlos is a good guy and you wish him nothing but the best."
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