There It Is: Ben Zobrist is Going to Work His Way Back to the Cubs

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There It Is: Ben Zobrist is Going to Work His Way Back to the Cubs

Chicago Cubs

At least, the Ben Zobrist update we’ve been waiting for: he is going to try to come back.

It starts with a pseudo-rehab assignment in the minor leagues:

Nothing is guaranteed at this point, but if Zobrist can get back up to speed and be Zobrist, it would be an incredible shot to the bench in September. Indeed, with rosters expanding to the 40-man, the Cubs could suddenly feel like they’re absolutely loaded, after a year of feeling really rough on the bench. Moreover, then the Cubs will have a month of Zobrist to determine if he’s the right fit for the 25-man postseason roster (if the Cubs get there).

But again, I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. Zobrist is 38, and has been away from playing for several months. It’s possible he’ll try to ramp back up, and it just won’t happen for him. We’ll see what we see when he starts playing in games.

I doubt this impacts the Cubs’ trade deadline plans too much with respect to still wanting to supplement the bench, though I do wonder if there is going to be a financial calculus – Zobrist is currently not paid, but if he’s back for September, that’ll be a couple million more that the Cubs have to account for. To be sure, they should *NOT* change course because they’re worried about that hit, nor should they discourage Zobrist from returning (clearly, they aren’t). But the budget is the budget, and the front office has to operate within it. At least the Cubs could use the Zobrist news to push back against any leverage-grabbing by trade partners (“Well, you know, we’re gonna get Zobrist back, so I’m not sure we can pay thaaaaat much …. “)

We’ll have to unpack this some more in the coming days.

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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.