According to a report from Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are still in on Ben Zobrist. The Cubs would need other things to come together in order to sign him.
Multiple reports Tuesday afternoon indicated the Cubs “could still make Zobrist fit for them.”
And Ken Rosenthal reported the Cubs are talking about a deal that would send Starlin Castro to the Yankees.
The Mets are seen as the frontrunners for Zobrist. And reports from the Mets’ beat writers pointed to a lot of confidence from team officials in landing Zobrist. The Nationals are also pushing for Zobrist.
Based on multiple reports from the Winter Meetings, Zobrist could make a decision and agree to terms with a team as early as Tuesday night.
The Sun-Times reported this week that Starlin Castro was informed at the end of the season he would not be traded. Reports from the New York media indicated last month that the Cubs and Yankees were talking about a deal that would send Castro to the Bronx for Brett Gardner.
Gardner was seen as a fallback option for the Cubs in centerfield if the front office cannot acquire one of its primary targets.
The Cubs are believed to be working on multiple scenarios. Joel Sherman checked and Jacoby Ellsbury is not part of the Cubs discussions with the Yankees.
The Yankees view Starlin Castro as a second baseman and a back-up to Didi Gregorius at short. The Yankees continued interest in Castro stems from Jim Hendry, special assistant to Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman. The Cubs signed Castro as an amateur free agent during Hendry’s tenure as the Cubs’ General Manager.
Update 5:40pm CST – One of the players the Cubs could be talking to the Yankees about is Adam Warren according to Joel Sherman. And according to Jerry Crasnick, the Mets “optimism on Ben Zobrist is slightly down,” there is concern the Cubs could sign him.
Update 5:45pm CST – Ben Zobrist is deciding between the Mets and Cubs. According to Ken Rosenthal, the offers are “comparable, only question is which team he wants to join.” The Nationals are believed to be on the periphery.
Update 5:53pm CST – The Cubs were connected to RHP Adam Warren last summer. The 28-year old can start or pitch out of the pen. Warren was 7-7 in 43 games, 17 starts, for the Yankees last season with a 3.29 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. Warren allowed 51 runs, 48 earned, on 114 hits with 39 walks and 104 strikeouts in 131 1/3 innings. Warren is arbitration eligible for the first time and has three years of club control before he’s eligible for free agency after the 2018 season.
Update 5:55pm CST – Theo Epstein said the Cubs are “getting closer to a deal.” The front office is trying to sync up a trade and a free agent signing.
Update 6:08pm CST – The Mets are “nervous now” about signing Zobrist according to John Harper. The Mets think if the money is similar, Ben Zobrist will choose the Cubs because of Joe Maddon.
The timing of the Cubs renewed interest in Ben Zobrist and talking to the Yankees about Starlin Castro would create playing time for Zobrist at second base.