Ben Zobrist isn’t forever Royal, leaves Kansas City for the Chicago Cubs

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The first of the Kansas City Royals’ major free-agent dominoes has fallen: Ben Zobrist is leaving KC for a four-year, $56 million deal with the Chicago Cubs.

Zobrist walks away from the World Champion Royals after being acquired from Oakland before the July trade deadline. Zobrist was a key cog in the World Series win, batting .303, hitting two home runs, knocking in six RBIs and ending with 15 runs scored.

The 34-year-old steps into a pretty sweet deal, with a no-trade clause for the first three years of the deal and an open spot at second base, according to ESPN.

Before free agency began, there was a line of thinking that Zobrist would be easier to retain — possibly on a two-year deal — than Alex Gordon, the long-time face of the franchise, whose play had likely priced him out of the small-market Royals’ stratosphere. 

New York Post columnist Joel Sherman gave Royals fans hope that the club could retain Gordon just days ago with this tweet: “#Royals have not given up on re-signing Alex Gordon. Still waiting for OF market to fully define.”

Keeping Gordo won’t be easy with deep-pocketed suitors, including the San Francisco Giants. Johnny Cueto is also on the market.

For his part, Royals manager Ned Yost says he’s holding out hope that Gordon will re-sign with KC. 

Meanwhile, the Royals have inked Chris Young to a two-year deal and reportedly locked up Joakim Soria for three years.

See also: Relive the Royals’ World Series victory parade with this slideshow

The Royals have plenty of big-name free agents. Here’s a look at a potential roster shuffle.

The Royals prove the old saw about lies, damned lies and statistics.

Streetside: Setting the record straight on the Royals’ postseason run

Categories: News