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Cubs sign Ben Zobrist to 4-year, $56 million deal

Zobrist chose the Cubs over the Mets, who pursued him aggressively.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Cubs are in agreement with Ben Zobrist on a 4-year, $56 million contract, according to a major-league source. The deal was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Zobrist will receive a $2 million signing bonus before receiving $10 million in 2016, $16 million in 2017, $16 million in 2018 and $12 million in 2019, according to a source.

The Cubs were a late entrant into the race for Zobrist, who chose them over the Mets after being courted by the Nationals, Giants and Dodgers. Chicago is now likely to trade Starlin Castro, who they have been discussing with the Yankees, to make room for Zobrist at second base.

Zobrist is the second major addition of the offseason for the Cubs, who also added John Lackey on a 2-year, $32 million contract. The team is expected to continue to be aggressive, with Jason Heyward among its potential targets.

Zobrist will be reunited with former manager Joe Maddon in Chicago after spending last year with the Athletics and Royals. He has the ability to play almost every position on the diamond, but will likely see most of his time at second base if the Cubs are able to complete a deal involving Castro.

In ten major-league seasons with the Rays (2006-14), Athletics (2015) and Royals (2015), Zobrist is a lifetime .265/.355/.431 hitter with 127 home runs. He won a World Series ring with the Royals last year after reaching the World Series with Tampa Bay in 2008.