5 best free agent signings in Chicago Cubs history: #4 – Ben Zobrist
This isn’t the last member of the 2016 World Series championship-winning team we’ll see on this list, but let’s first give Ben Zobrist his due.
Hot off a World Series title with the Kansas City Royals the year prior, Zobrist inked a four-year, $56 million with Chicago, bringing a versatile veteran presence to what was still one of the youngest (and most promising) teams in the league.
In his first season with the Cubs, he got on base nearly 39 percent of the time, earned the third All-Star selection of his career and, just for good measure, brought home World Series MVP honors after hitting .357 and driving in the go-ahead run late in Game 7.
His time in Chicago ended rather unceremoniously due to off-the-field personal matters between he and his then-wife. His salary, freed up by his decision, wound up going to Craig Kimbrel who, in turn, was flipped for Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer this past summer.
But that’s not what you should remember Zo for. In his three-plus years here, he brought an old-school vibe and backed it up with his performance. He got on at a .362 clip, played all over the diamond – and did it all in the back half of his thirties. This guy was – and is – a Cubs legend.