After making a career of not staying in one spot on the diamond, Ben Zobrist couldn't stay in one spot geographically last year, getting traded to the Athletics in the offseason before becoming a key acquisition for the world championship Royals. And now he's on the move again, having signed with the Cubs in his first go at free agency. He has known nothing but pitcher's parks throughout his career, so a move to a more netural park could help his numbers. Keep in mind, though, that at age 34, the regression is coming. He hasn't been a 20-homer guy, much less a 15-homer guy, in three years, and a change in venue won't reverse that. His greatest assets remain his versatility and his on-base ability, which makes him naturally more valuable in points leagues than categories, but you shouldn't look for him in the first 10 rounds of either format.
Zobrist agreed to a four-year, $56 million contract with the Cubs on Tuesday, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The familiarity with skipper Joe Maddon and upward trajectory of the franchise led Zobrist to choose Chicago, turning down more lucrative offers from other clubs. Perhaps Zobrist will be used in a super-utility capacity in 2016 as he was previously under Maddon in Tampa, though his signing could prove a precursor to a trade of Starlin Castro and/or Javier Baez.
Royals second baseman Ben Zobrist went 1 for 4 with his 13th homer in Saturday's 9-5 loss to the Indians. The round-tripper was Zobrist's third of the month, to go along with seven RBI. The veteran outfielder enjoyed a .343 August after joining the Royals at the trade deadline, and although he has cooled off to the tune of .264 in September, he has managed six multi-hit outings during the month.
Royals second baseman Ben Zobrist is not in the lineup Friday against the Tigers. Zobrist hasn't received an off day since Sept. 5, having been in the lineup 11 straight games, so he'll get some rest Friday. Omar Infante will get the start at the keystone and bat seventh in his stead.
It appears all but certain that light-hitting Omar Infante will be the odd man out of the Royals lineup when Alex Gordon returns from injury. As expected, Ned Yost has stated that Ben Zobrist will play mostly second base when Gordon is ready, per the Kansas City Star. Infante has not found his stride at the plate all season. The result is a .217 average, which if maintained would be the lowest of his career. The versatile Zobrist, who can play all over the field, will likely continue to give others occasional days off as the Royals cruise to the division title.
Royals second baseman Omar Infante isn't in the starting lineup on Sunday, after 108 starts there that season. Ben Zobrist starts at second in his place for the second straight game. Replacing Zobrist in left for the second striaght game is Paulo Orlando.