Will the Cubs chase after Zobrist again?
After reportedly pursuingBen Zobrist
heavily last season before he was traded from the Tampa Bay Rays to the Oakland A’s, the Chicago Cubs may still have their eye on his services in the near future
. How realistic that could be is anyone’s guess. The Cubs are taking a buyer’s mindset as of now as a competitive team but aren’t going all-in yet.
But even if they do, Billy Beane hasn’t folded yet after the A’s slow start and still believes his team can make a run once players get healthy. In turn, he hasn’t made Zobrist or anyone else available for that matter.
There are some glaring holes on this Cubs team. While many would love to see a deadline deal for starting pitching like Cole Hamels or one of the arms from the New York Mets, that is far from the biggest need. Bullpen help is at the top of the list, and the acquisition of Yoervis Medina was an effort to shore that up. Add to that the report that Carl Edwards, Jr. (formerly C.J.) was promoted to Triple-A Iowa and there at least seems to be some progress there.
Defense is another area of concern, and it showed again today. Granted, Dexter Fowler is rarely a concern, but he also doesn’t get many days off. This is where Zobrist could be a huge addition. His ability to play all over the field (like they anticipated Arismendy Alcantara to do) allows days off for some of these players who just aren’t getting any. Starlin Castro needs a day off, but I get the feeling the Cubs are reluctant to slide over Addison Russell. Whatever the reason, it hasn’t happened.
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Zobrist could be a fix to many of the issues the Cubs have. The bench has been horrendous. Nine different guys this season have hit a combined .192. Depth was thought to be a key part of this team as we had three catchers, guys like Tommy La Stella, Chris Denorfia and Alcantara. Injuries a trade and poor play and none of those pieces remain.
As we inch closer to July, the picture will become more clear. My thought’s are this: If the Cubs really do want Zobrist, what will the A’s want in return? Are they “bitter” after we took them for a ride on the Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammell deal? The Cubs made out on that deal, so the A’s may want to exact some revenge if the tables do indeed turn where the A’s are selling and the Cubs are buying.