CHICAGO – Ben Zobrist played with the Tampa Bay Rays from 2006 – 2014, under manager Joe Maddon, Maddon took the rays to the Fall Classic in 2008 only to fall to the Philadelphia Phillies. Zobrist knows that Joe Maddon can put a second World Series ring on his finger. The Chicago Cubs, now led by Maddon went to the NLCS last year only to fall to the New York Mets in four games. Throughout the last couple years the Cubs organization has had a troublesome time putting together an infield that is a good mix of young and old. Although now they may have found their answer. On Tuesday the Chicago Cubs signed 34 year old veteran Ben Zobrist to a four year deal worth $56M. This deal was likely due to the earlier mentioned chemistry that Zobrist and Maddon have, along with Chicago’s need for a veteran infielder.
What this means for the Cubs going forward: This signing summoned one thing that was inevitable, which was the trade of Starlin Castro. Castro’s trade brought in a decent RHP and good infield glove. Besides that Zobrist will bring both a good switch-hitting bat and veteran glove to the team, additionally just Zobrist’s presence on the team will help out the younger guys such as, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and most of all Javier Baez.
What Zobrist brings to the club: Playing for both the Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals last year Ben Zobrist posted a .276 BA, 13 HR, 56 RBI, and .809 OPS which shows that he can still get the job done no matter the age. He helped drive the 2015 Kansas City Royals to a World Series Championship after being traded for at the deadline, he hopes to bring his talents to the North Side of Chicago where he believes that Joe Maddon can bring him a second ring. Zobrist also looks to bring that same veteran vibe to Chicago that he brought to Kansas City, because Zobrist helped that team in ways that you don’t always find in the box score such as being a leader on the field and a guy to look up to.
All in all, The Cubs may have made themselves out to be the team to beat in the NL Central this year, it sure will be a fun race to watch, as the Cardinals and Pirates are always also a danger.