Carlos Zambrano Signs With Phillies

Stephen Dunn

He'll be back. Maybe. In Philadelphia. For the moment, he's headed to extended spring training.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports has been a pretty reliable source lately -- he's the one who first broke the news of the Anthony Rizzo contract extension -- so I'd say this news is almost certainly true:

The Phillies, obviously, are looking for pitching after losing Roy Halladay to shoulder surgery. Zambrano has not pitched in high-level competition since this less-than-four-inning stint for Venezuela March 9 in the World Baseball Classic in which he threw three perfect innings, then melted down and started yelling at the umpire after not getting some close calls in the fourth.

Well, that's the Z we know. He had a bad year and was demoted to the bullpen for last year's 93-loss Marlins. About the only thing that can be said positive about Z's 2012 season is that Ozzie Guillen appears to have prevented him from having meltdowns. Phillies fans can be pretty unforgiving, as you likely know. How will they react if he throws poorly, or has another hissy fit?

Seriously, I wish him luck. He'll be 32 next month and you'd think he has something left in the tank. The Phillies will be at Wrigley Field at the end of August -- who knows? It's possible we might see him then.

UPDATE: Here's more info on the signing:

Zambrano will report to the team’s facility in Clearwater for extended spring training, and once he builds up arm strength, he’ll presumably get taken out for a spin at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He can ask for his release if the Phillies don’t promote him to the majors by July 1.
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