Once again, thank you in advance for your wisdom
1. What is the current scouting report on Carlos Zambrano? Is he pretty much done? Clearly, it is unlikely that he will return to the Cubs for non-baseball reasons. The question is whether or not he has anything left to be a useful starter in the majors.
I did read a Chicago Tribune article from July which noted that he "failed to impress" during a workout in Iowa. Do you think the guy simply has thrown too many innings and was worn out, or that his stuff is gone. Does he even project as a middle-bottom of the order starter at this juncture?
2. Although I am never crazy about mindless, unfounded speculation, I was wondering if a trade of Zambrano for Cleveland's Matt LaPorta would make sense. The Cubs would likely have to pay pretty much the entire salary for this to work. Cleveland is trying to go for it next year, and need another serviceable starter. They have been pretty disappointed with LaPorta's low OBP and high K rate despite his touted prospect status.
A small market team like the Indians would potentially fill a need for a 3-4 starter essentially for free since there are real questions as to whether LaPorta fits in their future. It would be possible that the Cubs would possibly have to take on another contract, or else give in another low level prospect, to make up for the fact that, at the very least, LaPorta is young and has upside.
So I guess the question is whether or not Zambrano even projects as a fourth starter at this point. If so, it may be a win win for both sides, especially if LaPorta eventually grows as hoped.
3. Is there a way of projecting if Soriano's production would improve if he did not have to field, i.e., if he moved to DH? If so, how does he compare to other DH's in the league?
I doubt any team would want him to play any position but DH given his fielding problems. I wonder if he still has value as a DH, or if he should be kept on the team and, if he does not produce, cut.
4. Is there any word on how Cashner is progressing? After his injury he pretty much disappeared for the rest of the year. Is he expected to be back next year to compete for a starting spot? Or is he out for longer?