Ben Zobrist might not be done after all. According to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, the veteran Cubs utility man could return to the team in September.
Zobrist is in the final year of his contract. In early May, the Cubs placed Zobrist on the restricted list. It was later reported that Zobrist is dealing with a pending divorce.
There has been a lot of speculation during the past month that Zobrist may just end up being done playing baseball. Cubs manager Joe Maddon even said that going forward he had to prepare the team with the thought process of not having Zobrist at all for the rest of the season.
However, the Cubs have been public in the last week, saying they’re hoping Zobrist comes back and that he’s remained in contact with teammates.
Via Jesse Rogers.
“There’s been a little definition added to how he hopes this thing might go,” Epstein said on Thursday before the Cubs played the Los Angeles Dodgers. “I’ve been in constant touch with Zobrist. He knows the door is open. I think he’s got an idea in mind on how he would like this to go, but his priorities are clear — that’s family first.”
Zobrist has been in touch with the team throughout the process and recently reached out to his teammates. If he returns to the Cubs it’s likely to be late in the season, potentially in September, according to one source.
“Certainly the door is open and the possibility of a return is there for him later in the season,” Epstein said. “We’ll see how things evolve. We’d all love to see him back here and he would love to be back. We’ll see if that can come to fruition.”
Zobrist played in 26 games before taking his leave of absence. After hitting .305 and posting a .378 OBP in 2018, he struggled to begin 2019, slashing .241/.343/.253, in 83 at-bats.
So, if Zobrist does return, then it’ll be until September according to Jesse Rogers.