Cubs sign free agent infielder Ben Zobrist

The Chicago Cubs continue to add to their team in hopes of making a long postseason run next season. The team has agreed to four-year, $56 million deal with free agent infielder Ben Zobrist.

Zobrist will play second base for the Cubs and comes to the team from the World Series Champion, Kansas City Royals.

His deal includes a full no-trade clause during the first three-years. He also receives a $2 million signing bonus up front.

He’ll have a $10 million salary next season. Then, it’ll jump to $16 million each of the next two seasons, before his salary dropping to $12 million in the fourth-year.

“He’s all about winning. That’s what he’s about,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said earlier Tuesday.

The 34-year-old Zobrist is reunited with Maddon in the Windy City. He played for Maddon while the two were with the Tampa Bay Rays.

He began last season with the Oakland Athletics before the Royals acquired the switch-hitter in a July trade. Before going to the Athletics, he spent his entire nine-year career with the Rays.

Zobrist made his Major League debut in 2006, which is the same year that Maddon started his first season as manager in Tampa Bay.

With Zobrist, he can play significant playing time at several positions, but as we said, he’s going to be the Cubs everyday second baseman. He previously played at shortstop and right field.

“I thought there should have been a super-U player on the All-Star team,” Maddon said when discussing Zobrist’s value as a utility player. “It’s an absolute position, just like second base or left field is. A real, legitimate SU guy is a position, and it permits you to do so many different things with your lineup daily and so many different things to get progress daily.”

He is from Eureka, Illinois, which is close to a homecoming for him, as he will now be just a 140 miles southwest from Chicago. He has a career .265 batting average with a .355 on-base percentage.

The .355 on-base percentage would have tied him with Kyle Schwarber, who was third on the Cubs last season. Last season, Zobrist had a .276 batting average with 13 home runs and 56 RBI’s.

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