Ben Zobrist is no longer under contract and hasn’t spoken publicly about his intentions for 2020 and beyond, but it sounds like he may have ridden off into the sunset for good. According to Jon Heyman, Zobrist “is at home and has no plans to play” this season. Or ever again, presumably.
Ben Zobrist hasn’t announced anything but is at home and has no plans to play. Very nice career: started versatility trend and was rewarded for it, won 2 rings
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 12, 2020
The 38-year-old super-utility player was a vital cog in the Cubs’ World Series win and became a fan favorite because he was a good dude who put up solid numbers while playing all over the field. He rocked old-school black cleats and rode his bike to the park in full uniform, then minded his own business and didn’t make waves off the field.
That changed last season, when Zobrist missed the start of camp due to personal reasons and later took an unpaid leave to deal with divorce proceedings. He was all smiles during his much-anticipated return, which boosted the Cubs down the stretch and seemed to indicate that he still had some gas in the tank, though perhaps he looked at that as a chance to go out before age made the decision for him.
If Zobrist truly is done, he can look back proudly on a career that spanned 14 seasons with four teams and included two titles that ended long droughts. He hit .269 with a .774 OPS and 40 homers over four years in Chicago, taking home the World Series MVP in 2016.