Florida Becoming Chicago South!

In what can only be described as a shocking move, a Chicago sports figure is moving to Florida.

The Chicago Cubs reportedly traded Carlos Zambrano to the Miami Marlins (with approximately $15M) in exchange for Chris Volstad. Volstad’s numbers were mediocre last year, similar in many ways to Zambrano’s in Chicago… but he isn’t loco and didn’t walk out on his team.

Zambrano joins an incredible list of former Chicagoans collected in Florida. Here’s a look at a few of the names you undoubtedly remember.

Ozzie Guillen, Manager, Chicago White Sox – Now: Miami Marlins
Many memories of Ozzie will be tied to his verbal outbursts, but managing the Sox to the 2005 World Series crown will ultimately be his legacy as a manager.

Carlos Zambrano, SP, Chicago Cubs – Now: Miami Marlins
Zambrano appeared in 319 games for the Cubs, winning 125 and losing 81 between 2001-11. He threw one no-hitter while with the Cubs.

Mark Buehrle, SP, Chicago White Sox – Now: Miami Marlins
Burhle appeared in 390 games on the South Side between 2000-11, winning 161 and losing 119. He threw one no-hitter and one perfect game with the Sox, and was the ace of the 2005 World Series championship rotation.

Javier Vazquez, SP, Chicago White Sox – Now: Miami Marlins
Vazquez came to Chicago after the World Series, spending 2006-08 with the Sox. He appeared in 99 games on the South Side, winning 38 and losing 36.

Other former Chicago players on the Marlins roster are Ricky Nolasco, Jose Ceda and Omar Infante, all former Cubs. Nolasco and Ceda were traded to the Marlins before making their debut, while Infante was an offseason acquisition that never appeared in a game for the Cubs.

Sam Fuld, OF, Chicago Cubs – Now: Tampa Bay Rays
The highlight reel catches by Fuld in the last couple seasons in Tampa have been impressive, but he started his career at Wrigley Field. Fuld appeared in 98 games between 2007-10 with the Cubs, hitting one home run and driving in five runs.

Kyle Farnsworth, RP, Chicago Cubs – Now: Tampa Bay Rays
The volatile reliever had all-world stuff coming up with the Cubs, but he couldn’t keep himself out of trouble (and by trouble, I mean bars). He was with the Cubs from 1999-2004, appearing in 343 games. He won 22 games, lost 37 and was credited with four saves. He also beat the heck out of Paul Wilson of the Reds.

Juan Cruz, RP, Chicago Cubs – Now: Tampa Bay Rays
It’s funny… Cruz actually shared a rookie card with Mark Prior back in the day. Who would have throught Cruz would last longer than The Chosen One? Cruz appeared in 78 games with the Cubs between 2001-03, winning eight and losing 18.

Baseball isn’t the only place former Chicagoans are filling rosters.

Dale Tallon, GM, Chicago Blackhawks – Now: Florida Panthers
Tallon is responsible for building the 2010 Stanley Cup champions, and drafted both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

Kris Versteeg, forward, Chicago Blackhawks – Now: Florida Panthers
Versteeg was one of the role players that made the 2010 Hawks so special. Between 2007-10, Versteeg played in 170 games for the Hawks, scoring 24 goals 57 assists before he was dealt to Toronto (in a deal that brought, among others, Viktor Stalberg, to the Hawks). He has spent time with the Maple Leafs, Flyers and now Panthers since leaving after the Cup.

Brian Campbell, defenseman, Chicago Blackhawks – Now: Florida Panthers
Campbell came to the Hawks with a lot of hype and a huge contract (the biggest in franchise history). Surprisingly, he was traded to Tallon and the Panthers this summer in a cost-cutting deal that essentially brought nothing but cap relief to the Hawks. He played in 215 games in three seasons with the Hawks, scoring 19 goals and adding 98 assists. Most importantly, he was credited with the primary assist on Kane’s Cup-winning goal.

Tomas Kopecky, forward, Chicago Blackhawks – Now: Florida Panthers
Kopecky, Marian Hossa’s wing man, played two seasons in Chicago before getting traded to Florida this summer. He played in 155 games with the Hawks and established career highs in every category while in Chicago. Kopecky scored 26 goals and added 38 assists with the Hawks.

Jack Skille, forward, Chicago Blackhawks – Now: Florida Panthers
Skille is arguably the biggest draft bust in Hawks’ history. After being selected seventh overall in 2005, Skille only managed to play in 79 games for the Hawks in parts of four seasons before he was traded in a deal that brought, among others, Michael Frolik to the Hawks. He only scored 12 goals and added just 13 assists while with the Hawks.

Baseball and hockey aren’t alone, though. There are some former Chicago Bears playing in Florida now, too.

Marc Columbo, T, Miami Dolphins
Nick Reed, DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dan LeFevour, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Trumaine McBride, DB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Basketball can’t be left out. Former Bulls are having a good time in Florida as well.

Chris Duhon, G, Orlando Magic
Eddy Curry, C, Miami Heat

It’s funny how so many Chicagoans dream of being in Florida during cold winters like the last week. Now, as a fan of Chicago sports, you could move south and know the guys you’re cheering for!

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  • The Z trade was expected. The only question is if there are enough Venezuelans to fill up Miami stadium.

    Burhle, on the other hand, was somewhat unexpected. At least the Marlins will have a lot of pitching next year, and will be paying for only about half of it.

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