|Pitcher Carlos Zambrano signs 5-year contract extension with Chicago Cubs|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 17 August 2007 05:43|
The ace right-hander agreed Friday to a five-year deal to stay with the only team he's been with his entire career. The deal includes an option for a sixth season.
Zambrano (14-9) had hoped to have a new deal in place by opening day. He extended the deadline but contract talks stalled after Tribune Co., which owns the team, announced in April that it was selling itself for $8.2 billion to Chicago real estate mogul Sam Zell. The Cubs are expected to go on the auction block at the end of the season.
The 26-year-old Zambrano acknowledged the pending sale of the team had complicated negotiations but said last month he wanted to stay with the Cubs.
Zambrano, who signed a one-year, $12.4 million deal during spring training, could have been a free agent after the season. A two-time All-Star, he has a 78-51 career record.
The emotional Zambrano hasn't looked like the Cubs' ace in his previous three starts, failing each time to earn his 15th victory.
He left an outing against the New York Mets in the sixth inning with heat-related cramping and was driven out by Houston in his next start after giving up seven runs in 5 1-3 innings.
On Tuesday night, he allowed 13 hits and six runs in seven innings with two walks and no strikeouts against the Cincinnati Reds.
He's had an eventful season, getting into a fight with catcher Michael Barrett and breaking a bat over his knee. Against the Reds, he got so angry after grounding out, he slammed his helmet to the ground and it bounced all the way into right field.
His familiar antics on the mound include pumping his fist after getting an out. In one game, he did a complete spin in front of the mound.