Carlos Zambrano's contract extension negotiatons heated up Friday with a face-to-face meeting between general manager Jim Hendry and the pitcher's agent, Barry Praver. "We had a nice conversation, and everything's positive and on the upbeat," Hendry said. "Hopefully we'll be able to come together." The parameters of the deal have been discussed, with both sides agreeing to five years. How far apart they are on the total package is unknown, though the Cubs' offer is expected to be under Barry Zito's $18 million-per-season range. "We went a little further down the line at the arbitration than we normally would have," Hendry said. "But I think a lot of good came out of that too. At the end of the day, there wasn't going to be any bad-mouthing in the courtroom, and he reiterated again how badly he wanted to be here."
Zambrano Deal Nearly Finished