Chicago Cubs: Ben Zobrist is really going to be missed

Ben Zobrist, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Ben Zobrist, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Ben Zobrist, Chicago Cubs (Photo by David J. Phillip-Pool/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Last season showed just how much of a difference Ben Zobrist made for the Chicago Cubs. Going forward without him is going to be tough.

One of the most excellent images in Chicago Cubs history is of Ben Zobrist jumping in celebration after hitting a go-ahead RBI double in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. Zobrist was in his first year as a Cub when he recorded that hit, which alone made his four-year deal 100 percent worth it. Of course, his overall performance as a Cub also justified the deal.

For the first time since 2015, the Cubs enter a season without Zobrist being on the roster. After missing much of last year due to personal reasons, Zobrist (38) appears to be done playing baseball for now. While not “officially” retired, it seems extremely unlikely he will play again with his age and missing a season. If he indeed is done for good, he had one heck of a career: .266/.357/.426 with 167 homers, .783 OPS, 116 wRC+ and 44.4 fWAR in 1,651 games. He was a three-time All-Star, two-time World Series champion and World Series MVP in 2016.

This is a significant loss for the Cubs. Regardless of his career status, he was going to be a free agent anyway,  but it cannot be said enough how important he was to this team. A professional hitter, extremely versatile, great role model and postseason hero. It is not easy to replace such a balanced player that brought class and leadership to the team.