Julie posted last night about the Cubs trading Carlos Zambrano to the Marlins for Chris Volstad. If we’d all been listening to Theo Epstein’s interview on WGN radio yesterday, we would have seen the writing on the wall.
“The Carlos Zambrano of 2011 and years previous can’t fit into the culture that we have here,” Epstein said. “Change needs to happen and change will happen. Either he’ll change and buy in and fit into this culture — and I understand there are a lot of skeptics around about that, and I understand that, and frankly, I’m skeptical as well.
“He needs to prove to us that he can change and be part of this culture,” Epstein said, “or we’ll change the personnel and move forward with people who are proud to be Cubs and treat their teammates with respect, treat the fans with respect and can be part of a winning culture in the Cubs’ clubhouse.”
So what do we know about Chris Volstad? We know he started LOHO day in 2008, the day the legend of Chad “J’Accuse” Gaudin was born. This was the same day the true nature of Reed Johnson and Mark DeRosa’s pecs was revealed. So Chris Volstad is already a part of our history. As for his baseball prowess…
Volstad, 25, was 5-13 with a 4.89 ERA in 29 starts last season with the Marlins, striking out 117 over 165 2/3 innings. In 103 games over four seasons in Florida, he was 32-39 with a 4.59 ERA. Volstad earned $445,000 last season; he will not be a free agent until after the 2014 season.
I suppose the important numbers there are his salary and team control through 2014. He’s also 6’8″, so will be an asset on the Cubs’ off-season basketball team.
Other things gleaned from Theo’s WGN radio session yesterday, courtesy of MLBTR.
The Cubs expect to start Bryan LaHair at first base. The 29-year-old posted a .331/.405/.664 line with 38 home runs at Triple-A in 2011. He also posted an .885 OPS in 69 plate appearances with the big league club.
The Cubs are “very committed” to Carlos Marmol as their closer.
Here’s a link to the WGN Radio interview should you be inclined to listen.