The Chicago Cubs and Ben Zobrist agreed to terms on a 4 year, 56 million dollar contract. In order to make room for Zobrist, the Cubs traded promising young talent Starlin Castro to the Yankees for second baseman Brendan Ryan and pitcher Adam Warren.
Zobrist was oft rumored to be headed to the Mets, who now must scramble to find an alternate solution. Last season, Zobrist batted .276/.359/.450/.809 with 13 HR while splitting time in Oakland and Kansas City.
Zobrist seems to be coming full circle – a guy who was underpaid during his prime who is now set to be overpaid as he moves beyond it. At 34, Zobrist’s defense declined noticeably last season, according to the advanced stats. His 126 games played and his combined 1.9 WAR for the A’s and Royals were the lowest of his career since he became a regular in 2009.
In order to make room for the one time super-utility player, the Cubs traded 26 year old second baseman Starlin Castro to the Yankees. Castro had a down season last year slashing .265/.296/.375/671 with 11 HR. The Yankees are hoping that a change in scenery will help the once can’t miss prospect realize his full potential, as well as finally solidifying a position that has been in flux since Robinson Cano left for greener pastures. Castro is owed 38 M through 2019, all of which the Yankees will be picking up.
Brendon Ryan who will be going to Chicago in the deal was once considered for the position of Derek Jeter’s replacement. He’s a light hitting infielder known for his defense, who isn’t terribly great on defense and will likely fill a backup role for the Cubs. Ryan slashed for .229/.275/.333/.608 with no HR in 96 AB last season
Adam Warren is expected to serve as a swing 5th rotation/bullpen role for the Cubs.
Warren is 13-15 with a 3.39 ERA in four big-league seasons, making 20 starts and 127 appearances out of the bullpen. The 28-year-old righthander has proven to be quite versatile, going 6-6 with a 3.66 ERA in 17 starts last season while posting a 2.29 ERA in 26 relief appearances.
ScoutsEdit, updated post to reflect that Zobrist spent time in Oak and KC last year, not Oak and TOR. Thanks to NBJays for the assist.