Zambrano: 'I don't want to leave Chicago'

Carlos Zambrano pitched well enough to win on Wednesday.

Even though his fastball was inconsistent and his arm slot varied from pitch to pitch, Zambrano showed the Cubs, and teams that may be interested in his services, that he can pitch without his best stuff during the Cubs’ 5-3 loss on Thursday.

Although Zambrano stated that he would allow the team to trade him in the future, he did a 180 Thursday. The veteran starter said he expects to play in Chicago next year. He has a right to veto any trade the team could make.

Zambrano was asked what he thinks the team might have in store for him in the future.

“I don’t know,” Zambrano said. “But it’s my option. I don’t want to leave Chicago. I want to be successful here. I want to help this team, like I always say, be in the pennant race.”

When Zambrano came back to the team in San Francisco, he said at that time, he’d allow the Cubs to trade him if they decided they no longer wanted his services.

“I don’t want to leave,” Zambrano said. “And I don’t think I will leave.”

Zambrano made his statement after throwing six innings of one-run baseball on Thursday against San Diego.

It’s unclear at this time what the Cubs want to do with Zambrano. The team’s roster had undergone a dramatic overhaul of late; the Cubs have parted ways with four veterans who helped the team to consecutive playoff appearances in 2007 and 2008 traded in the last 20 days. The Cubs would like to see Zambrano pitch well the rest of the season before making a decision about his future.

The New York Mets have long been rumored as a potential destination for the Cubs’ starter. Starting pitcher Oliver Perez is a player the Mets have tried to move over the past year. The Cubs, however, have no interest in the underachieving Perez.


• The Cubs will have a presentation of some gifts to Atlanta manger Bobby Cox on Sunday in recognition of his great success managing the Braves and his contribution to the game over the past 50 years. Cox will retire from managing the Braves after the season.

• The Padres four-game sweep of the Cubs was their first ever of the North Siders at Wrigley Field. San Diego previously swept the Cubs in a four-game set May 5-8, 2006.