Ben Zobrist's Market Heated Up Quickly, Traded to Kansas City Royals (UPDATES)

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Ben Zobrist’s Market Heated Up Quickly, Traded to Kansas City Royals (UPDATES)

Chicago Cubs

ben zobrist raysPerhaps the most attractive all-around positional player on the market this year, Ben Zobrist offered teams a combination of offensive ability, defensive versatility, and an extremely palatable contract. He’s making just $7.5 million this year, before he reaches free agency after the season.

Lots of teams wanted him, including, reportedly, the Cubs.

But Ken Rosenthal says it’s not the Cubs getting the super utility man:

The Royals had been heavy on him for a while, according to a variety of rumors, so this isn’t necessarily a surprise. The return, as expected, could be significant:

The Royals are running away with the AL Central, and are already the favorites in the American League (though anything can happen in the playoffs, as the Royals, themselves, demonstrated last year). It makes slightly more sense for them to pay a little extra for a guy like Zobrist compared to a team like, say, the Cubs, which are more realistically going for a Wild Card spot.

UPDATE: The return:

Manaea was a top three prospect in a solid Royals system (borderline top 50 guy), and Brooks looks to be an interesting big-league ready starter. Maybe a back-end guy, but a possible useful piece.

For a Zobrist rental, this is a steep price, and one that I completely understand the Cubs not desiring to meet.

UPDATE 2: The Royals are also getting some cash:

That makes the return more understandable, but still steep. (Definitely glad not to see the Cubs prioritizing cash over prospect talent.)

UPDATE 3: And the Royals have announced the deal. Good for them. Go all out. Understand and respect their aggressiveness. Glad the Cubs didn’t meet an equivalent price.

Hopefully the Cubs are able to bring in a guy like Will Venable or Gerardo Parra.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.