Cubs Sign Zambrano to Mammoth Deal

Ace signs for 5 years, $91.5 M, becomes MLB's highest-paid pitcher
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2007 3:46 PM CDT
Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano points to the sky after striking out Cincinnati Reds' Adam Dunn in the first inning during their baseball game Sunday, July 29, 2007 in Cincinnati. The Cubs won 6-0....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – After months of negotiations, the Cubs finally signed Carlos Zambrano to a 5-year, $91.5-million extension yesterday, with a no-trade clause and a performance-based option for a sixth year. No pitcher will earn more per year than Zambrano’s $18.3 million average annual salary, but Zambrano says the decision is based less on money than his desire to stay in Chicago.

The Cubs’ ace, who will be just 32 when the deal ends, is winless in his last three starts, but did not have to undergo a physical to sign the fifth-largest deal in baseball history. Jim Hendry said he doubted he could replace Zambrano, saying he “had no desire to be on the free-agent market all winter,” the Tribune reports.