“Whatever happens, I don’t want to know about a contract during the season. I want to sign with the Cubs before the season starts. If they don’t sign me, sorry, but I must go. That’s what Carlos Zambrano thinks.” Zambrano, 16-7 with a 3.41 ERA and 210 strikeouts last season, asked for $15.5 million in arbitration. The team offered $11.025 million. He made $6.5 million last season. Chicago Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano has a new message for the team: sign him to a new contract before the season starts or he’ll leave and become a free agent after it’s over. “I’m ready to sign and I would do my job anyway with the Cubs this year,” Zambrano said in an interview with WGN-TV that was reported Tuesday by the Chicago Tribune. Zambrano wants some of the money Cubs’ general manager Jim Hendry has been doling out. The seven-year, $126 million deal the Giants gave to starter Barry Zito has changed the market. “Zito is a great pitcher. Good for him he has that contract, and I think that will help me,” Zambrano said last month. “Jim spent a lot of money. I hope he has more for `Big Z.”‘ Teams are 4-0 Baseball teams improved to 4-0 in salary arbitration when the Washington Nationals beat pitcher John Patterson and the Florida Marlins defeated reliever Kevin Gregg. Patterson was awarded $850,000, less than half the $1.85 million he asked for. Gregg will get the Marlins’ offer of $575,000 instead of his request for $700,000. Both pitchers were eligible for arbitration for the first time. Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Beimel and Tampa Bay backup catcher Josh Paul were the first two players who went to arbitration this year and lost their cases Saturday. Beimel will get $912,500 and Paul $625,000. Seven players remain scheduled for hearings, which run through Feb. 20. Philadelphia pitcher Geoff Geary agreed to a one-year contract worth $837,500. He had asked for $925,000 and had been offered $750,000 after making $350,000 last year, when he went 7-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 81 relief appearances. Torre reaches out Yankees manager Joe Torre is trying to reach Bernie Williams and left the impression that the outfielder would have a chance to make New York’s roster if he accepts a minor league contract and comes to spring training. “Who knows? That’s the one thing about being down here,” Torre said after his opening staff meeting of training camp. “You don’t know. You’re going to leave here with the team that you want to go north with.” Torre telephoned Williams last week and again on Tuesday but didn’t speak with him. Williams said Friday he was leaning against the Yankees’ offer of a minor league contract. “I haven’t heard back from him. I’d feel better if I was able to talk to him,” Torre said. “I want to see what he’s thinking.” While Williams’ corner locker in the Yankees’ Legends Field clubhouse had no name Saturday, he was listed on a roster pinned to the message board. By Tuesday, a new roster had been posted that omitted Williams’ name and left his No. 51 open. Late in the morning, a clubhouse attendant moved Jose Veras’ belongings into Williams’ locker and put Veras’ name above it. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Renaissance reaches final
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