May 15, 2007

Is The Mets' 2008 Ace Pitching Tonight?

Ben Shpigel at The New York Times, writes about Carlos Zambrano and how he might end up a Met next year:

The ace of the Mets in 2008 could be pitching at Shea Stadium tonight. Not John Maine, although he is certainly pitching like one. We’re talking about Carlos Zambrano, the Cubs’ burly right-hander who, if he cannot work out an extension with Chicago, will become the most coveted pitcher on the free-agent market come November.

Zambrano, an outstanding hitter who has 11 career homers (including 6 last year), wants to say in the National League so he can hit, and there aren’t many teams who could afford to pay him what he stands to get. The Giants gave $126 million over seven years to Barry Zito. At 25, Zambrano is three years younger than Zito and has a Zito-esque curveball complemented by a mid-90s fastball. It’s not unreasonable to think that some team could offer him $140-$150 million. Of course, because he is still so young, he could take a five-year deal worth about $90 million and then be in line for another huge payday at age 31.

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