Wednesday, December 9, 2015

ZOMG - Zobrist and Warren and Ryan, Oh My!

Yesterday evening, I decided to go wander around a couple of local book stores, in order to kill some time before the Blackhawks game started.  The work day was done and I didn't really have anything else to do (for once) and it seemed as though the Cubs were out on Shelby Miller; everything seemed pretty calm.

Then, after 20 minutes or so of looking for old SI For Kids back issues (cards, duh) and Dirk Hayhurst's books (more on these sojourns in a later post), I came back to my car and turned on the radio.

So much for calm!

In that 20 minutes, the Cubs signed Ben Zobrist to a four-year deal worth $56MM and swapped the wildly inconsistent Starlin Castro to the Yankees for swingman Adam Warren and a PTBL (widely expected to be Brendan Ryan) to be announced after the Rule V draft.  I guess I should walk into book stores more often!

I have to say, I did not think the Cubs were in on Zobrist, even though he is probably the most obvious fit on free agent market.  He comes at market value (or even slightly below) with decent pop, good OBP, low K's, extreme versatility, excellent clubhouse presence and he fills the void at lead-off; I am definitely in favor of this deal.  Theo and Jed fooled us all by being so very stealthy.

I'm sad to see Starlin move on, but there really wasn't a spot for him on the roster anymore and his contract needed to go to sign Zobrist.  Plus, we got a young arm with an MLB track record and success in Adam Warren.  As a team who's rotation depth was so exposed last year that it was nearly written up for indecent exposure, that's certainly not a bad thing.

As for Brendan Ryan, I forgot he was still in the league, to be completely honest.  However, with his versatility, he will slot in nicely as the last man on the bench, a role Jonathan Herrera played last year.  Hopefully, Ryan can bring something fun like the "rally bucket" or the rubbing of the helmet thing too, like Herrera did.

Now, none of this could have happened without swapping out a contract (they aren't the Dodgers, y'know).  That someone ended up being Starlin Castro - the longest tenured Cub on the roster.  Just typing that seems surreal because I remember thinking on the day that he was called up how weird it was that there was now an MLB player that was YOUNGER than I.  

Times moves so very quickly, doesn't it?

In the meantime, the first two cards you see in this post will be joining the Castro in my CATRC binder and I'm pretty ecstatic about it.  Does anybody out there have an extra Adam Warren lying around?  Any Yankees collectors out there?  I'm willing to facilitate a trade of my own.

Speaking of trades and signings, I wanted to make sure I got this post in quickly today because, rumor has it, the Cubs aren't quite done shuffling the deck,  Reports have them in on guys like Jason Heyward (!!!), Charlie Blackmon and Denard Span and that a signing could happen as soon as this afternoon.  Now, it's time to sit back and monitor the rumor mill.

What an exciting off-season!


  1. The Hayhurst books are entertaining.

    Ben Zobrist is one of my favorites. He is such a good fit for any team because of the versatility. Obviously he has some risk because of his age, but the bat should be good enough to find value somewhere.

  2. I have all three Hayhurst books if you'd like to borrow them. I guess there's this thing called "media mail" that makes the shipping fairly manageable. Let me know!
    I hope we come away with Span on a pillow contract and he bats 1st. That will allow Zorilla to fit into the #2 hole where he REALLY excelled last year. That would really make for a deep lineup!