The Chicago Cubs have reached a deal with free agent Ben Zobrist according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
By: Peter Elliott – NFL and MLB writer – @redsoxforever42
Zobrist joins former manager Joe Maddon in Chicago after playing under him in Tampa Bay for the bulk of nine seasons. He then hopped to Oakland before being shipped off to the World Series-winning Kansas City Royals at this year’s non-waiver trade deadline.
Four years and $56 million (37,296,000 British pounds) is what’s being reported as the numbers for Zobrist’s deal.
The New York Post’s Ken Davidoff reported that Zobrist will receive a full no-trade clause for the first three years of the contract. In the fourth year, he can choose eight teams to which he can block a trade.
The 34-year-old split time at six different positions in the 59 games he played for the Royals, primarily at second base and left field, combining for .988 fielding percentage with four errors in 449 total innings.
Zobrist gives Maddon even more flexibility in both the infield and outfield. He boasts a career .355 on-base percentage, gathers walks at a good rate, and has an extremely low career 12.7% strikeout rate.
The Cubs, led by President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein and General Manager Jed Hoyer, have been making a flurry of moves at the MLB winter meetings currently ongoing in Nashville. Just a few hours ago, they made an impressive deal trading young shortstop Starlin Castro to the New York Yankees and finalizing the signing of pitcher John Lackey.
We’ll keep you updated here at Talking Baws for more news regarding the winter meetings.
Peter Elliott writes about the NFL and MLB for Talking Baws. You can follow him on Twitter @redsoxforever42 and email him at PeterElliottSports@gmail.com.