Carlos Zambrano was looking to revive his flagging career. Ozzie Guillen was looking to bolster the Miami Marlins' rotation.
The friends - and Venezuelan countrymen - felt working together would help accomplish both.
Guillen will give the ball to Zambrano for his Marlins debut Sunday when the volatile right-hander faces a familiar foe in the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
Zambrano spent 11 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, winning 125 games - more than double the total of the club's next pitcher on the list in that span.
He struggled to live up to the expectations of a No. 1 starter over the past three seasons, though, going 29-20 as the Cubs went from playoff contenders to a losing ballclub. The decline culminated in Zambrano posting a career-high 4.82 ERA last year.
At one point last summer, the Cubs even placed Zambrano on the 30-day disqualified list after he abruptly announced his retirement - an episode that only expedited his exit from the Windy City.