Carlos Zambrano, the talented but volatile righty who threw a no-hitter for the Cubs but was later banished by the franchise for a series of temperamental incidents, has signed with the Long Island Ducks, according to reports.
Ducks General Manager Mike Pfaff said there was no official signing of Zambrano. "Nothing official," he wrote via e-mail. "We will issue a press release on any official signings."
Zambrano is 132-91 with a 3.66 ERA during a 12-year career. Despite possessing tantalizing stuff that led to his 2008 no-hitter against the Astros, "Big Z" has struggled with his control. He led the National League in walks in 2006 (115) and 2007 (101). He also led the NL in hit batters with 20 in 2004.. He hasn't had a WHIP under 1.29 since 2005.
Zambrano, 31, was part of a trio of talented young starters, along with Kerry Wood and Mark Prior, that led the Cubs to within one game of a World Series berth in 2003, but dugout tantrums and fights with teammates led to his ouster from Chicago following the 2011 season. Zambrano was traded to the Marlins before the 2012 season and went 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA in 35 games, 20 starts.
A three-time All-Star who finished in the top five in Cy Young voting three times, Zambrano was known for being durable and crossed the 200-inning threshold each season from 2003-2007. He hasn't thrown more than 170 innings since 2008, however, due to ineffectiveness, suspensions and role changes.