By: Maren Angus
The Chicago Cubs introduced Ben Zobrist Wednesday afternoon at the Winter Meetings.
Zobrist, 34, agreed to a 4-year, $56 million deal Tuesday evening.
‘I don’t think there was a wrong choice for us but in the end our heart wanted to be in Chicago, as a family,” said Zobrist. “Wanting to play for this team, wanting to play for Joe Maddon again and I want to win a championship as a Chicago Cub. That’s my one goal in the next four years. I am thrilled for the opportunity and can’t wait to get know my teammates more and do what hasn’t been done there in a long time.”
Before arriving in Chicago, the 34-year-old utility infielder has made stops in Tampa Bay, Oakland and Kansas City. After being acquired a couple days before the July trade deadline, Zobrist played a key part of the 2015 Royals’ World Series championship team. As the team’s No. 2 hitter, He batted .303 with two home runs, six RBIs, 15 runs scored and one stolen base.
In order to sell Zobrist on Chicago, the Cubs needed to persuade him that he would have a position on the field. They did just that by trading second baseman Starlin Castro to the Yankees.
The contract includes a three-year no-trade clause, which ensures Zobrist of staying close to home (Nashville) for a while. Location and proximity to home was the driving force during the negotiation process.
“I think in the end, the main thing that we talked about at the beginning of the process was proximity to here, where we live. Proximity to my family, I grew up in Illinois. We seriously considered all the other options but in the end this is what motivated me the most.”