Ben Zobrist will turn 39 next May.
He spent four months of 2019 at home with his family, by all reports trying to save his marriage.
Would he be valuable for the 2020 Cubs? First, let’s look at his 2019 numbers. Overall, his .260/.358/.313 line (47 games, 176 plate appearances) is unimpressive. He didn’t hit for power at all (five doubles, one home run) and the OPS figure was his lowest since 2007.
However. After his return from his personal leave, he hit .284/.377/.388 in 21 games and 77 plate appearances, with five of his season total six extra-base hits. Those numbers are reasonably close to his career numbers, suggesting that he might still have enough in the tank to help the team as a bench player in 2020.
I’m going to talk about leadership now so if this sort of thing doesn’t interest you about a player, you might want to skip over this paragraph. Zobrist has been an acknowledged leader in the Cubs clubhouse since he came to the team in 2016 and with a new manager coming in, his presence in 2020 might provide some stability for younger players as they make changes elsewhere on the roster, perhaps even make him a player-coach. That sort of position used to be more common in the major leagues, though it hasn’t existed in recent years. It might be a good fit for Zobrist.
It’s been suggested that if Joe Maddon does what everyone expects and signs to manage the Angels, Zobrist might follow him to Anaheim. This is certainly possible, as Zobrist has played for Maddon in 13 of his 14 big-league seasons. On the other hand, the Midwest native might want to stick closer to his roots, as well as to his offseason home in Nashville.
Per his baseball-reference page, Zobrist has made over $86 million in his baseball career. While I do not know him personally, his public persona suggests that he’s the sort of individual who has probably invested his money wisely. He likely wouldn’t want or need very much money to return for one more baseball season.
I’d be inclined to invite him back for $3 million for 2020. If he wants more than that, thank him for his four years and wish him well.
No matter what the decision is on Zobrist, either by the team or by him, we will always, always have this [VIDEO].
This poll is closed
... sign him for 2020 for $3 million or less
... thank him and wish him well
... something else (leave in comments)