CHICAGO – In the mid-to-late 2000s, he was considered one of the anchors of the Cubs’ pitcher rotation that helped the team to three playoff appearances.
Now, Carlos Zambrano, 37, is making his way back to Chicago, but doing so with a different team in a different league.
On Tuesday, the Chicago Dogs told WGN the pitcher will join their team in the 2019 season, confirming comments Zambrano made to the Chicago Sun Times Monday night before the Cubs’ contest with the Marlins in Miami.
The Chicago Dogs are entering its second season in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball in 2019, playing their games at Impact Field in Rosemont. Zambrano represents their highest profile signing of a former major league ballplayer, as the pitcher will play for second-year manager Butch Hobson.
Making his debut with the Cubs in 2001, Zambrano pitched 11 seasons with the club and was named an All-Star in 2004, 2006, and 2008. He won 13 or more games in six-straight seasons from 2003-2008, and led the National League with 16 victories in 2006. Zambrano was a major part of the Cubs’ NL Central Division championship teams in 2003, 2007 and 2008, while also pitching the franchise’s first no-hitter in 36 years in September of 2008 against the Astros.
In 2010, Zambrano had a major outburst against teammate Derrek Lee in the dugout of a game against the White Sox at then US Cellular Field, which led to an indefinite suspension for the pitcher. The next season, he was suspended for 30 days in August after cleaning out his locker and telling the team he was retiring after a bad outing against the Braves.
In January of 2012, Zambrano was traded to the Marlins for pitcher Chris Volstad, and spent one season in Miami where he went 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA.