The Cubs were rather busy Tuesday and announced signing INF/OF Ben Zobrist to a four-year, $56 million contract and traded 2B/SS Starlin Castro to the Yankees for RHP Adam Warren and a PTBNL.
With the additions of Ben Zobrist and Adam Warren and trading Starlin Castro, the Cubs 40-man roster officially stands at 39 players. Trevor Cahill has to pass a physical before his one-year contract is done and he’s placed back on the roster.
Zobrist’s contract includes a full no-trade clause for the first three years. Zobrist can designate eight teams he can block a trade to in the fourth year. Zobrist received a $2 million signing bonus and will be paid $10 million for the 2016 season. Zobrist receives $16 million in 2017, 2018 and $12 million in 2019.
The Cubs did not include any cash in the deal with the Yankees for Starlin Castro. The Yankees will pay the remaining $38 million guaranteed on Castro’s contract over the next four years.
Adam Warren is under club control for the next three years. Warren is arbitration eligible for the first time in 2016 and is expected to receive around $1.5 million through the process.
Multiple reports have indicated veteran infielder Brendan Ryan is the PTBNL in the deal coming back from the Yankees. Ryan is owed $1 million on the final year of a three-year, $5 million contract. The Cubs have not confirmed or announced Ryan is part of the trade.
Ben 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 a .823 OPS versus left-handers and .254 (755-for-2,973) with 94 homers and a .769 OPS versus right-handers.
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 a .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 6-foot-3, 210-pound Zobrist broke into the majors in 2006 and enjoyed his first full big league campaign in 2009 when he was named to the All Star team en route to setting career highs with a .297 batting average, 27 homers and 91 RBI in 152 games, his first of five-straight seasons with more than 150 games. In 2011, Zobrist set a career high with 46 doubles and led all A.L. players with an 8.7 WAR. Two years later in 2013, Zobrist earned his second All-Star honor, matching his career-best from 2012 with 157 games and leading all A.L. second basemen with a .993 fielding percentage.
Ben Zobrist is a native of Eureka, Ill., located approximately 140 miles southwest of Chicago. He originally attended Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais and was drafted by the Houston Astros in the sixth round of the 2004 Draft out of Dallas Baptist University. Zobrist was acquired by Tampa Bay on July 12, 2006 for Aubrey Huff, acquired by Oakland from Tampa Bay on January 10, 2015 as part of a five-player deal and acquired by Kansas City from Oakland on July 28, 2015 for Sean Manaea and Aarons Brooks.
Starlin Castro, 25, departs the Cubs a three-time All-Star and a career .281 hitter (991-for-3,524) with a .321 on-base percentage, .404 slugging percentage and a .765 OPS in 891 Major League games covering the last six big league seasons since he made his debut as a 20-year-old shortstop on May 7, 2010.
Castro batted .265 (145-for-547) with a .296 on-base percentage, a .375 slugging percentage and a .671 OPS in 151 games with the Cubs last season.
Starlin Castro finished his Cubs’ career nine hits shy of 1,000. Castro has collected 991 hits in 891 games.
Adam Warren, 28, went 7-7 with three holds, one save, a 3.29 ERA (48 earned runs in 131.1 innings) and 1.16 WHIP 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, an average of 2.7 walks per nine innings.
The 6-foot-1, 224-pound Warren has spent all or part of the last four seasons in the big leagues with the Yankees (2012-15), going 13-15 with 27 holds, five saves and a 3.39 ERA (109 earned runs in 289.1 innings) in 147 games, 127 in relief and 20 as a starting pitcher. He has pitched the last two years exclusively at the Major League level, going 10-13 with 23 holds, four saves, a 1.14 WHIP and a 3.17 ERA (74 ER/210.0 IP) in 112 appearances, 17 as a starting pitcher. Warren has a 3.66 ERA in 17 starts and a 2.76 ERA in 95 relief outings since the start of the 2014 campaign.
In his first full big league season in 2014, Warren went 3-6 with 23 holds, three saves, a 2.97 ERA (26 earned runs in 78.2 innings) and 1.11 WHIP in 69 relief outings. He allowed four home runs and issued 26 walks in 78.2 innings, an average of 0.46 homers and 2.75 walks per nine innings. Warren ranked seventh in the league in holds, while his .219 batting average against was sixth lowest of any reliever in the majors with at least 75.0 innings pitched.
Adam Warren was originally selected by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2009 Draft out of the University of North Carolina.