The Cubs are moving Zambrano to the bullpen. A little bit of a shocker but I raised this possibility a few days ago.
What does it mean? Call it a trial run for a Zambrano-less rotation. The Cubs will see if Lilly can stay healthy and if Silva is for real. If this works in the short term, I predict the Cubs will look for someone to take Zambrano and his huge contract off their hands, preferably for a veteran reliever. I broached the possibility of a deal with the Mets involving Francisco Rodriguez in a swap of bad contracts.
The Cubs have to be thinking about opening roster spots for Andrew Cashner and Jay Jackson as well. Jackson is doing well at AAA. He's at a 2.00 ERA with only 9 hits and 3 walks in 18 innings. And Cashner has been dominant in AA with 25 strikeouts and 4 walks in 17 innings. Double A hitters have only managed to hit for a .119 average in 3 starts. It won't be long before both pitchers are in Chicago and moving Zambrano makes the Cubs rotation a lot more flexible.
If all goes well for the rotation in the next month or two, look for the next news about Zambrano to revolve around trade rumors. He surely can't be happy pitching out of the bullpen. Something tells me the no-trade clause will become much less of an obstacle now.