Epstein May Give Zambrano One Last Chance

Cubs President says Zambrano can "earn his way back."

By Jennifer Schwarz
|  Tuesday, Nov 15, 2011  |  Updated 8:00 AM CDT
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Hello, Again, Big Z

Paul Beaty, AP

New Cubs president Theo Epstein agreed Monday night to give pitcher Carlos Zambrano one last chance with the club.

The new Cubs boss and other team officials met with the enigmatic and often immature pitcher and his agent over lunch in Chicago early this week.

The meeting was reportedly requested by Zambrano, who packed his locker and left after being ejected from an Aug. 12 game against the Braves. After that blow up, he told team officials he was retiring and then-general manager Jim Hendry suspended him from the team.

Epstein told the Chicago Sun Times Zambrano expressed a strong desire to be a Cub. He said the organization isn’t welcoming Zambrano back with open arms. There are conditions to his return.

Epstein said he would allow the former ace the opportunity to “earn his way back through very hard work this winter, through rebuilding relationships, man-to-man, with all of his teammates and through some other steps we discussed.”

Zambrano is a career 3.60 ERA pitcher with a record of 125 and 81. His once commanding stuff has slipped in recent years.

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