Chicago Cubs to sign Ben Zobrist to four-year deal


Following a successful year capped with a World Series championship with the Kansas City Royals, super utility man Ben Zobrist will be reunited with his former longtime manager Joe Maddon, as he has agreed to a four-year deal worth $56 million with the Chicago Cubs, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.

After many rumors surfaced that Zobrist was choosing between the Cubs and other competitors such as the San Francisco Giants, New York Mets and Washington Nationals, the 34 year old will head to the North Side of Chicago, an addition that speaks volumes to the Cubs’ positional depth entering 2016.

Zobrist had a very solid 2015 season split between the Oakland Athletics and the Royals. The utility man blasted 13 home runs while driving in 56, accompanied with a solid .276/.359/.450 triple slash. The switch-hitter extended his success into the postseason, where he hit eight doubles throughout the playoffs, including four in the World Series, where he proved to be a spark plug for a Royals offense that performed very well in clutch situations.

The addition could also spell changes for the Cubs, as Zobrist is an addition to an already crowded infield, perhaps making one of Starlin Castro and Javier Baez expendable in a trade. The Cubs have previously explored trades involving at least one of the two, and will most likely continue to do so with Zobrist most likely fitting in at second base for the Cubs in 2016.

With his outfield ability, the Cubs may also choose to go a different path, perhaps looking at Zobrist as an outfield fit, which could realign trade talks toward outfielder Jorge Soler, and in that case, would also most likely take the Cubs out of the running for free agent Jason Heyward.

In this signing, the Cubs have continued to made additions to fill in holes in an already very impressive team, looking to build off of a 97-win season that included an appearance in the National League Championship Series. The offseason is far from over, and this signing may just be another one of many transactions made for the Chicago Cubs in the coming weeks.