- The Cubs are hoping Zobrist’s decreased production last year was due primarily to his knee injury and that he can approach the levels of performance he had previously established, ESPN’s Jonah Keri writes. WAR rated Zobrist as one of baseball’s best players from 2009 through 2014 and, as Keri notes, Zobrist’s versatility added value that WAR doesn’t reflect.
- Zobrist’s deal should help move the markets for hitters like Yoenis Cespedes, Justin Upton and Alex Gordon, August Fagerstrom of FanGraphs writes. Fagerstrom also notes that the structure of Zobrist’s contract (which only pays him $10MM next season) and the salary-shedding trade of Castro to the Yankees strongly suggest that the Cubs can continue to make moves, particularly given that they were willing to bid heavily on David Price.
- The Zobrist contract and the Castro deal improve the Cubs, but perhaps not enough to justify the expense, ESPN’s Keith Law writes (Insider-only). Exchanging Castro for Zobrist and Adam Warren should improve the Cubs by “a couple wins” next season, but the end of Zobrist’s contract could be ugly, given that advanced fielding numbers suggest his defense has already declined.
- Zobrist is a great match for the Cubs, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi writes. Since Zobrist rarely strikes out, he fits well with the strikeout-heavy Cubs offense, and since he can play multiple positions, he’ll help the Cubs find the best spots to use young players like Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez. Meanwhile, they can effectively pay three quarters of Zobrist’s contract with money they previously owed Castro.