He's better and younger than Zito (just not lefty), so Carlos asking for that deal has been obvious since Barry signed his. The deadline is sorta news, but then I don't know many baseball players who DO negotiate during the season - it seems like everyone wants it done before the games start.
The Cubs have a history of not going to arbitration, so some sort of deal will get done in the next few months. A 3-4 year deal is probably better for both sides - Cubs get the injury protection, Z gets another big contract in his prime - but there's been little word about if Z wants just the money or the years and money from Zito's deal. It doesn't seem like much serious negotiation has gone on yet.
I think the interesting thing is that in the news reports I saw this morning he basically worded it to say that if he wasn't signed by the beginning of the season that he was going to leave, not simply explore FA. That seemed a bit unusual to me.
If Santana doesn't sign an extension by the end of the 2008 season and doesn't get injured, wait until a pitcher with at least 2 Cy Youngs and is left-handed hits the market. Price should start somewhere between $20 and $25 million per for him.
The Horsemen DVD is only 2 Discs but Still 9 hours. Let Us Rejoice and Sing Its Praise.
The Cubs need to learn from how they handled Aramis Ramirez last year. They could have extended his contract at the beginning of the year, and he probably would have taken $11-12 million per year. He went nuts the 2nd half of the year, and the Cubs were lucky he still took a below market (albeit an insane market) at 5 years, $75 million.
With Zambrano, I would say they will have to go 6 years for $100 - $110 million. Is it smart? Probably not, but at least he has had no injury issues (other than missing a couple starts with a sore arm from too much Internet usage.. loved that one), ala Wood and Prior.