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MLB Zobrist excited to play for Maddon again

Ben Zobrist wants to win the MLB World Series with the Chicago Cubs as he prepares to work with Joe Maddon again.

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Ben Zobrist wants to win the MLB World Series with the Chicago Cubs as he prepares to work with Joe Maddon again.

Zobrist and manager Joe Maddon have been reunited in Chicago after the free agent signed a four-year, $56million deal on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old infielder and Maddon reached the World Series together once before, when the Tampa Bay Rays fell to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.

Zobrist has since won a ring with the Kansas City Royals, but he would like to help Maddon get his first after the Cubs lost to the New York Mets in October's National League Championship Series.

That opportunity led the coveted utility man to sign with Maddon's Cubs, he said at baseball's winter meetings on Wednesday.

"There were a lot of great options for us," Zobrist told reporters.

"But in the end our heart wanted to be in Chicago as a family and wanted to play for Joe Maddon again and win a championship as a Chicago Cub.

"That is my number one goal the next four years is to win a championship and bring a World Series trophy back to Chicago. It's overdue."

The Illinois native said his decision to join the Cubs over the Mets, Washington Nationals and others took due diligence, but he was not set to sign until the Cubs traded Starlin Castro to the New York Yankees to clear up an everyday spot at second base. 

"It was really important for Ben to have a spot on the diamond," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said.

"We were intrigued by the possibility of having him and being able to move him around the diamond, and I think Joe still will."

In the past three years alone, Zobrist has started at least 20 games at second base, shortstop, left field and right field.

He had a .276 batting average last season with 13 home runs and 56 RBIs. He added two home runs and six RBIs in the post-season.

Maddon added: "To get 'Zo' to walk in the door right now among the young players and be able to exhibit or exude this kind of influence, not only the work ethic, but how to play the game, play the game properly, show up every day, be ready to play — that's something we haven't had. The veteran ship has been more among the pitching staff."

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