Cubs sign Zobrist, trade Castro to Yankees
The Chicago Cubs have signed utility man/2B Ben Zobrist to a 4-year $56 million contract, which is reportedly just below what he was reportedly predicted to earn which was a 4 year $60 million contract. Zobrist who was not tied to a draft pick due to being traded midseason was seen to be the Mets top priority this offseason, chose Chicago instead. Zobrist, 34 is a versatile option for the Cubs as he can play all over the field and gives the Clubs flexibility. Ben Zobrist reunites with former Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon who loved Ben Zobrist during his time there. Zobrist hit for a .276 BA as well as clubbing 13 homers, and knocking in 56 runs over 126 games split between the Oakland A’s and the Kansas City Royals. Zobrist saw his named penciled in four different positions in 59 regular-season games with Kansas City as hit .284 with 7 home runs and 23 RBI, to help propel the Royals win their first World Series in 30 years. As well as averaging a .274 over the past 3 seasons as well as making the all-star team in 2013.
The deal made Starlin Castro expendable, which resulted into a ripple effected that saw Castro and the $38 million remaining on his contract traded to New York Yankees for SP/RP Adam Warren and PTBNL who’s now reported to be IF Brendan Ryan.
The Chicago Cubs have received SP/RP Adam Warren from the Yankees to strengthen their rotation. Warren was considered expandable, as he was seen no higher than a No. 5/pitching depth as he started 17 games, went 7-7, had a 3.29 ERA and a save for the Yankees. Warren was a versatile arm for the Yankees, pitching well as both a Started and a Reliever. Warren finds himself in a position to start for the Cubs in the back-end of the rotation as he joins a pitching staff that consists of NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, and newly signed John Lackey. The Cubs also receive PTBNL who is IF Brendan Ryan 33, another veteran defensive option who can play over the infield and gives Maddon more flexibility. Warren looks to benefit from moving from Yankee stadium to Wrigley field as well as shifting to the National League.
The Yankees get 3-time All-Star Starlin Castro, who looked to be playing better down the stretch as he hit .295, with a .319 OBP after the All-Star break. Castro was shifted to second base to make room for Addison Russell on Aug. 4th who responded with a .339 BA .358 OBP and even played better defensively with a +2 DRS compared to the -4 DRS he produced at SS. This could be a positive sign for the Yankees as it is an immediate upgrade over last years second baseman who batted .223 and had an OBP of .279. General manager, Brian Cashman spoke upon Castro and said, “He looked like a different player after the position change…He fills our needs at second base and our vision moving forward.” Castro joins an infield that suddenly looks younger, and stronger up the middle as Castro 25, and Gregorious 25, could form a dynamic duo. Castro is versatile option who will play at 2B but could shift to SS if need be. The Yankees have Castro at a relatively bargained price, as he’s due $38 million over the next 4 years. The Yankees hope for Castro to continue to build on his strong end to the 2015 season, and continue his path to stardom that was seemed so clear not so long ago.
The Castro deal continues on the youth movement that the Yankees are riding as last year in the offseason they traded SP Shane Greene for SS Didi Gregorious in part of a three team trade, as well as acquiring SP Nathan Eovaldi for Martin Prado. Earlier this offseason, the Yankees traded catcher John Ryan Murphy for 26 year-old OF Aaron Hicks who replaced Chris Young as the 4th OF, and could be penciled in if Gardner is eventually moved. Cashman is doing a tremendous job gathering young talent, without giving up too much while still staying relevant in the AL East.
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