MESA, Ariz. – The Chicago Cubs today announced that the club and right-handed pitcher Carlos Zambrano agreed to a one-year deal for the 2007 season, thus avoiding arbitration.
Zambrano, 25, owns a 64-42 career record with a 3.29 ERA (357 ER/977.0 IP) in 167 games (146 starts). He has 865 strikeouts in 977.0 innings of work and has limited hitters to a .224 batting average, including a .217 mark against right-handed hitters.
Over the last two seasons, Zambrano's 412 strikeouts rank second among NL hurlers (Jake Peavy, 431) while his .210 batting average against ranks third (Roger Clemens, .205 and Pedro Martinez, .210).
Zambrano, who was signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent July 12, 1997, was the ace of the Cubs staff in 2006 and set a career high with 210 strikeouts. His 33 starts and 16 victories tied career marks. He was named to the National League All-Star Team for the second time in his career (also 2004), but did not pitch in the contest.
He set another career high last season with a nine-game winning streak from June 5-July 30, becoming just the third Cubs pitcher to win at least eight straight decisions since the start of the 1985 season (also Greg Maddux in 1988 and Jaime Navarro in 1996).