Agent: Ben Zobrist’s Taking part in Days Are Over
Ben Zobrist’s identify surfaced within the information over the previous couple of days, as a tweet from Heritage Public sale Sports activities claimed that Zobrist’s Global Sequence ring from the 2016 Cubs was once going to be up for bids in August. Then again, Zobrist’s agent Scott Pucino instructed Paul Sullivan of The Chicago Tribune that the hoop wasn’t going to be bought, and that Zobrist instructed him that ” ’Why would I promote this ring? It is unnecessary. I’m by no means going to do away with this ring — by no means, by no means, ever.’ ”
That would appear to position that curious subject to leisure, and Pucino additionally showed what has gave the impression increasingly more glaring during the last two years: Zobrist has ended his gambling occupation. Even though Zobrist has no longer formally retired, Pucino stated that Zobrist is specializing in caring for his youngsters whilst going thru a divorce. “He’s a devoted dad and grabbing the bull by the horns and taking hold of the situation,” Pucino stated.
Zobrist ultimate performed in 2019, his 14th Main League season. He best performed in 47 video games all through that ultimate 12 months, as his divorce led him to spend a lot of the season on non-public go away — the cash surrendered by way of Zobrist for his time at the limited checklist allowed the Cubs sufficient luxurious tax wiggle room to signal Craig Kimbrel, so Zobrist’s affect remains to be being felt at the Cubs to nowadays.
After all, Zobrist had already lengthy since made his mark on Chicago baseball historical past because of his function within the Cubs’ curse-breaking 2016 championship run. Signed to a four-year, $56MM loose agent deal within the 2015-16 offseason, Zobrist hit .272/.386/.446 over 631 PA all through the common season, after which gained Global Sequence MVP honors by way of batting .357/.419/.500 over 31 PA all through the Fall Vintage. That got here at the heels of every other large efficiency for Zobrist within the earlier 12 months’s Global Sequence, as Zobrist was once obtained by way of the Royals ahead of the business cut-off date in 2015 after which helped Kansas Town seize the name.
Over 14 MLB seasons, the switch-hitting Zobrist batted .266/.357/.426 over 6836 PA for the Rays, Athletics, Royals, and Cubs. The Astros to begin with drafted Zobrist within the 6th spherical in 2004, and after being dealt to Tampa in July 2006, Zobrist went from being most commonly a full-time shortstop into the super-utilityman role that outlined his occupation.
Thru some distance from the one “Swiss Army Knife” of a participant in historical past (Jose Oquendo and Tony Phillips stand out for lovers of 80’s and 90’s baseball), Zobrist’s identify was synonymous with on-field versatility on this technology. He made 794 of his 1503 occupation begins as a 2nd baseman, but additionally 363 begins in proper area, 196 begins at shortstop, 107 begins in left area, in addition to time as a middle fielder and at each nook infield slots. Between his multi-position skill and productive switch-hitting bat, Zobrist might be moved across the diamond and used in a lot of other models by way of Rays supervisor Joe Maddon and long run skippers all over Zobrist’s occupation.
Whilst Zobrist ranks 3rd in fWAR (in the back of Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford) at the Rays’ all-time franchise checklist, it may be argued that Zobrist could be the “greatest Ray ever” for each on-field price and symbolic causes, as he exemplifies how the Rays have seemed to mould a reputedly unending array of multi-positional avid gamers since Zobrist’s time with the franchise. Past simply Tampa Bay, groups in all places baseball in recent times have seemed to maximise bench intensity by way of having super-utility varieties at the roster.
From 2009-16, Zobrist generated 40.5 fWAR, a complete surpassed by way of best 8 avid gamers in baseball all through that eight-season span. Those top years noticed him achieve 3 All-Superstar groups, end as prime as 8th position in AL MVP vote casting (2009), and seize the ones two Global Sequence titles with the Royals and Cubs in consecutive years.
MLBTR needs the entire highest to Zobrist in his post-playing days, and congratulates him on an excellent occupation.