Chicago Cubs: Grading the offseason moves

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Dec 9, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon stands with newly signed infielder Ben Zobrist at a press conference during the MLB winter meetings at Gaylord Opryland Resort. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Zobrist

On Dec. 9, the Chicago Cubs signed free agent infielder Ben Zobrist to a four-year contract worth $56 million. The 34-year-old utility man won a World Series Championship with the Kansas City Royals last season and has a career slash line of .265/.355/.431. He will start at second base and bat at the top of the order next season.

The day before the Cubs signed Zobrist, they traded infielder Starlin Castro to the New York Yankees in exchange for pitcher Adam Warren and infielder Brendan Ryan to make room for Zobrist.

Grade: A-

The Cubs addressed multiple needs here. According to, during the 2015 regular season the Chicago Cubs finished 28th in the MLB in total hits, 12th in on-base percentage and first in total strikeouts.

In 2015, Ben Zobrist finished 34th in the MLB in on-base percentage (out of 141 qualified players according to The Cubs now have four players that finished in the top 40 in on-base percentage in 2015 (Zobrist, Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant). They struggled making contact last season and this ultimately led to their elimination in the playoffs.

Additionally, Zobrist is a veteran with World Series experience and he is also a versatile defender. He brings leadership and stability to a young team. This was another great move.

Next: John Lackey