The strangest moves of the offseason
January, 24, 2012
By Jim Bowden | ESPN.com
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesCarlos Zambrano doesn't have the best clubhouse reputation. Why trade for him?
With pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in a little less than a month, teams are making their final roster adjustments. It's been a long offseason, one during which some industry-changing deals were made. However, in the wake of those big moves, smaller ones raise eyebrows not because of their significance, but because of their peculiarity. The following moves are what I considered the strangest of this offseason, whether it's how the player fits -- or doesn't fit -- with a team or rationalizing how a player's poor production deserved a big league contract. One way or the other, these moves have left people scratching their heads.
1. Miami Marlins trade for Carlos Zambrano
The Marlins did a tremendous job this offseason rebuilding their team with a trio of significant free-agent signings, acquiring left-hander Mark Buehrle, closer Heath Bell and baseball’s second-best shortstop in Jose Reyes. All three All-Stars will bring outstanding character and leadership to the Marlins' clubhouse. These prudent moves are juxtaposed by the Marlins’ strangest move of the offseason, trading starting pitcher Chris Volstad to the Chicago Cubs for enigmatic right-hander Carlos Zambrano, who has been a constant problem in the Cubs' clubhouse, and Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein was having none of it.