Cubs sign Ben Zobrist to a four-year, $56 million deal
Chicago signed infielder and outfielder Ben Zobrist to a four-year, $56 million deal, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first reported earlier this evening.
Zobrist was thought to be deciding between the Mets, Nationals, and Giants before he agreed to his next contract with the "mystery team" Cubs. At $14 million per season, the Cubs are paying for an above-average bat and extremely versatile player who can help in a variety of roles with the team.
The 34-year-old Zobrist hit .276/.359/.450 with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs last season in 535 plate appearances with the Athletics and Royals. He has defensive experience at every position put pitcher and catcher. Zobrist's signing should open up the position player free agent market.
The signing of Zobrist to play second base led to the following move just minutes later.
Cubs trade Starlin Castro to Yankees for Adam Warren, PTBNL
The Yankees acquired second baseman Starlin Castro from the Cubs in exchange for pitcher Adam Warren and a player to be named later, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The deal has since been announced.
The player to be named later will be Brendan Ryan, according to media reports.
The 25-year-old Castro has been a part of the Cubs his entire career, but had been subject to trade rumors at the trade deadline into the Winter Meetings due to the team having plenty of talent all around the diamond.
Last season, Castro had somewhat of a down year, hitting .265/.296/.375 with 11 home runs and 69 RBIs in 578 plate appearances. He was much better in the second half, however, posting a .783 OPS (compared to a .603 OPS in the first half).
Castro is signed to an eight-year, $60.57 million deal that started in 2012 and runs through 2019. It includes a team option for 2020.
Castro will provide an immediate upgrade for the Yankees at second base, moving Dustin Ackley and Rob Refsnyder to the bench.