A lot of ink has been spilled and keyboards pounded over the expenditures that the Miami Marlins have taken on (or sought to take on this off season), after crying poor for just long enough to take advantage or MLB’s revenue sharing and the stupidity of a local government who were all too willing to approve a publicly funded stadium.

However, I think that there’s another story that’s going to be worth following after the Marlins yesterday acquired Carlos Zambrano and enough cash to cover 86% of his salary next year from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Chris Volstad.

After speaking out strongly against, well, speaking out strongly last season, the Marlins front office acquired the most outspoken figure in the game to manage the team. They then followed this up with the high profile signing of Jose Reyes, which pushed the best player on their roster from the position with which he claims to be most comfortable. Not finished challenging the gods of clubhouse chemistry, they then moved to acquire Zambrano, a player whose reputation for clashing with teammates precedes him.

The deal itself, from purely a baseball perspective, is one that likely works out for both teams. Every other previous season of his career suggests that Zambrano is a better pitcher than what he showed last year, and moving to a bigger park in Miami is bound to help him improve on last season’s horrible numbers. The Marlins only have to pay $2.5 million of Zambrano’s $18 million salary to see how that likelihood plays out.

For the Cubs, they get to swap one of their problems from last season for a more reliable though less flashy, middle to back of the rotation starter (depending on what pundit you choose to believe) who, at only 25 years old, will be under team control until after 2014. In this, Volstad, who will likely earn as much as the Marlins will pay Zambrano in 2012, represents a good haul for something that Theo Epstein and the Cubs are likely pleased to be rid of.

The reasons for that are why it’s becoming such an interesting situation in Miami. Typically, on this blog, we tend to ignore buzz words like “clubhouse chemistry” primarily because they’re the fancy of writers who don’t know what they’re talking about, but also because no one writing on this blog has experience in psychology. However, I don’t feel as though my inexperience in these matters completely prevents me from recognizing a potentially volatile situation based on the history of the roster and management in Miami.

As owner Jeffrey Loria tightens his grip on the team’s front office, he continues to show little regard for issues that he seemed to care a whole lot about this past season. It’s understandable why certain big named writers might want a season’s worth of tickets to the potential circus in Miami.

Comments (18)

  1. Interesting? …

    Why you being so nice today? Call a spade a spade.

    The Miami Marlins are . . . a joke.

  2. This is going to be a great season to be following Logan Morrison on the Twit.

  3. Carlos Zambrano and Jose Reyes are fiery competitors, who will add to the clubhouse chemistry, and help them get over the hump one game at a time, and take things one pitch at a time. Along with Buehrle who brings veteran leadership the Miami Marlins are, interesting.

  4. so let me get this straight. Clubhouse chemistry doesn’t matter and those who scribe about it don’t know what they’re talking about, up until the point where you recognize it could be an issue and it does matter?

    Don’t get me wrong, i actually think its safe to say that 90% of the chemistry stuff is BS, especially since the oldtimers have been complaining that the kiddies don’t stick around and “just talk about the game” as though it were the only thing happening in the world, but to say it means nothing and then to talk about it possibly meaning something has my head twisted up like a pretzel.

    • No. I’m saying it’s misused. I admit that it probably matters from time to time, just that most of the people who use it have no idea what they’re writing or talking about.

      • alright. its a bold assertion to make, but i tend to agree with the sentiment that things need to be shit-awful in order to really play a huge factor.

        That said, if you hate a couple of your coworkers, you wouldn’t enjoy coming in to work day in and day out, and not wanting to be there probably affects ones performance, whether you’re a highly paid athlete, or a janitor. (Universal ‘you,’ i can’t possibly imagaine anyone hating Mr. Fairservice or Mr. Stoeten et al)

  5. I still have faith in the Z-train. Hope he turns out better for the Marlins than the D-train.

    • It’s kind of fun that no one know what kind of effect this park is going to have on players. At least it’s now a lot more fun for neutral observers to watch Marlins games this year.

      • Well, we all know Zambrano has the stuff. I mean this guy was/still could be a top 15 SP in the NL. You’d have to think that Ozzie would be a “calming” influence on the guy. I dunno I expect a very decent year for Carlos.

  6. The D-Train was a very athletic pitcher who doesn’t bring the Z-Trains fiery competitiveness. Along with the Heath Bell signing, who will bring true grit to this team, he’s a guy who doesn’t mind grinding it out in the 9th, and getting dirty, as evident of that griddy slide to the mound at the All Star Game. The chemistry ingredients put together in Miami are again, interesting.

  7. Comment of the Century 2: Back to the Drawing Board

  8. The Miami Marlins are the most interesting team in the world. They don’t always take on train wrecks. When they do they take the biggest ones.

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