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Philadelphia Phillies sign Carlos Zambrano to a Minor League deal

05/15/2013 12:45 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Carlos Zambrano made one appearance for Venezuela in this year's World Baseball Classic.(AP)
The Philadelphia Phillies signed pitcher Carlos Zambrano to a Minor League deal on Wednesday, and the 31-year-old righty will report to the team’s Extended Spring Training in Clearwater, Fla.

Zambrano, 31, made one appearance in the World Baseball Classic for Venezuela – pitching 3 2/3 innings in their 6-3 loss to Puerto Rico – but has not pitched otherwise since end of a rocky 2012 season, one that saw him get demoted from the Miami Marlins’ starting rotation in late-July and finish the year 7-10 with a 4.49 ERA in 35 games (20 starts).

He could wind up in Philadelphia sooner rather than later, however, as the 19-21 Phillies could use some help in a rotation with Roy Halladay (right shoulder surgery) possibly out for the season and John Lannan (quadriceps) sidelined for at least another few weeks.

Zambrano has had a successful career, as he has a no-hitter to his credit in 2008 and was 125-81 with a 3.60 ERA in 11 seasons with the Cubs, pitching 200 or more innings five times and twice reaching the 200-strikeout plateau in that span.

However, the fiery pitcher has also had a history of turbulence, as well, as he was often outspoken and was suspended by the Cubs and/or Major League Baseball multiple times, the last a 30-day ban near the end of 2011 season that came after he cleaned out his locker and threatened retirement following a bad outing against Atlanta; that incident effectively ended his career in the Windy City, as he did not pitch again after being reinstated and was traded to Miami that winter.

After sitting out the first month of the MLB season, Zambrano had reportedly agreed to join the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League last week, but that never came to fruition and he officially became a Phillie on Wednesday.

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