The Rundown: Ben Zobrist Traded to A’s, Maddon Tampering Charges “Still Alive,” MiLB Deals

Ben Zobrist was traded over the weekend.

Not to the Cubs, unfortunately, but to the A’s. Oakland receives the versatile veteran, along with shortstop Yunel Escobar from Tampa Bay for catcher John Jaso, Daniel Robertson (Oakland’s top shortstop prospect) and outfield prospect Boog Powell.

I was definitely in favor of the Cubs trying to get Zobrist, but perhaps it just wasn’t meant to be. The Cubs likely didn’t want to part with a top prospect for the 33-year-old infielder/outfielder, and Tampa may not have felt a Cubs second-tier prospect was enough.

Oh well.

Ken Rosenthal wrote about a trade involving the Nationals, Mets and Rays that never happened. It would have sent Zobrist and Escobar to Washington, shortstop Ian Desmond to the Mets, and a top Mets prospect to the Rays. The Mets, however, were unwilling to part with top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard. Rosenthal also confirmed once again that the Cubs had pursued Zobrist.

The A’s sure have had an interesting offseason, with the trades of Jeff Samardzija and Josh Donaldson, just to name a few. I’m looking forward to seeing how they fare next year, as I’ll never count them out right away.

As for the Cubs, Tom wrote the other day that the offseason moves may be drawing to a close — other than a deal involving catcher Welington Castillo. So it may be time to look forward to the 2015 regular season. I know I’m ready.

Other news

* Shortly after Joe Maddon opted out of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays and signed on to manage the Cubs, the Rays brought up tampering charges with MLB. Haven’t heard much about it since, but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says the charges are “still alive.” It hasn’t sounded like the Cubs front office is too worried about the matter, and neither am I. I figure if anything comes of the situation, it would be minor.

* Speaking of minor, the Cubs signed a few players to minor league deals over the weekend, according to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy. The deals include veteran catcher Taylor Teagarden and RHPs Jorge De Leon and Andres Santiago. Teagarden played in nine games for the Mets last year and will likely serve as backup catching depth. De Leon has seen some brief MLB time with Houston. Santiago has yet to make it to the big leagues, but threw a no-hitter in Double-A last year in the Dodgers’ system.

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