CARACAS, Venezuela (CBS) — Carlos Zambrano wants to stay with the Cubs for the next two seasons, according to a Venezuelan publication.
The Caracas-based Spanish-language sports newspaper Líder reported Zambrano was participating in the annual Venezuelan Winter League annual home run derby Monday night when he talked about his life in the offseason.
“I am preparing like when I was a rookie, climbing mountains, running ont eh beach and exercising hard so I can arrive at Spring Training in optimal shape,” he said.
He went on to say, “I want to stay in Chicago for the two seasons I still have with the team. I’m not a coward who would take the back door out of the majors.”
But Comcast SportsNet points out that this does not mean Zambrano will actually be back with the Cubs next year.
“(T)he question still remains on whether the Cubs would truly ever be able to trust him again and invite him back,” Comcast’s Tony Andracki wrote. “I think that matters a bit more than if Zambrano himself would like to honor his contract.”
Last season, Zambrano was suspended after being thrown out of an August game in Atlanta for throwing at the Braves Chipper Jones. He had given up five home runs before the incident. Zambrano then cleaned out his locker, left the stadium and said he was going to retire.
Zambrano has $19 million left on his contract. Last month, new Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said he had met with a representative for Zambrano, and is “seeing what’s best for the Cubs” in terms of whether to bring him back.