Cubs Add Zobrist, Deal Castro

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Ben Zobrist Royals

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 01: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Ben Zobrist #18 of the Kansas City Royals follows through on a sixth inning base hit against the New York Mets during game five of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field on November 1, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of […]

The Chicago Cubs and infielder Ben Zobrist have agreed to terms on a four-year contract through the 2019 campaign.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Zobrist, 34, has earned a pair of American League All-Star honors during his career spanning all or part of 10 seasons with Tampa Bay (2006-14), Oakland (2015) and Kansas City (2015).  He is a career .265 hitter (1,145-for-4,317) with a .355 on-base percentage and .431 slugging percentage, good for a .786 OPS.  Zobrist has averaged 36 doubles, five triples, 17 homers, 77 RBI, 82 walks and 87 runs per 162 games of his major league career.  Since the start of his first full big league season in 2009, Zobrist ranks fourth in the majors with 566 walks and is fifth with 247 doubles.

The switch-hitting Zobrist has surpassed 75 runs scored in each of the last seven seasons starting in 2009, reached double digits in home runs in each of the last eight years and surpassed 30 doubles and a .350 on-base percentage in each of the last five campaigns starting in 2011.  Overall, Zobrist has 265 doubles, 35 triples, 127 home runs, 567 RBI, 641 runs scored and 105 stolen bases in 1,190 career big league games.  He has batted .290 (390-for-1,344) with 33 homers and an .823 OPS vs. lefthanders and .254 (755-for-2,973) with 94 homers and a .769 OPS vs. righthanders.

The versatile Zobrist has seen time at every position on the field except for pitcher and catcher with significant playing time at second base (616 games), right field (336 games), shortstop (229 games) and left field (111 games) in addition to 34 games in center field, 17 games at first base and eight games at third base.  Last year, Zobrist played more games at second base than any other position.

Zobrist batted .276 (129-for-467) with 36 doubles, 13 homers, 56 RBI and 76 runs scored in 126 games in 2015 between Oakland and the World Champion Royals.  He had more walks (62) than strikeouts (56) while turning in a .359 on-base percentage and a .450 slugging percentage, good for an .809 OPS, surpassing the .800 mark for the fifth season in his career.  He helped the Royals to their first World Championship in 30 years by hitting .303 (20-for-66) with a .365 on-base percentage, .515 slugging and .880 OPS, Zobrist’s fifth-career post-season appearance in the last eight seasons.

The Chicago Cubs also acquired right-handed pitcher Adam Warren and a player to be named from the New York Yankees for infielder Starlin Castro. 

Warren, 28, went 7-7 with three holds, one save, a 1.16 WHIP and a 3.29 ERA (48 ER/131.1 IP) in 43 appearances with the Yankees last season, splitting time between the bullpen (1-1, 2.29 ERA in 26 appearances) and the starting rotation (6-6, 3.66 ERA in 17 starts).  Combined between the roles, Warren limited opponents to a .236 batting average, a .301 on-base percentage and a .347 slugging percentage, good for only a .648 opponents’ OPS.  He walked only 39 batters in 131.1 innings pitched, only an average of 2.7 walks per nine innings.

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