Epstein: Zobrist could return to Cubs this season

ByJesse Rogers ESPN logo
Friday, June 14, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein said there's a path for veteran Ben Zobrist to return to the team before the end of the season.

"There's been a little definition added to how he hopes this thing might go," Epstein said on Thursday before the Cubs played the Los Angeles Dodgers. "I've been in constant touch with Zobrist. He knows the door is open. I think he's got an idea in mind on how he would like this to go, but his priorities are clear -- that's family first."

Zobrist, 38, has been on the restricted list since May 7 for what was described as personal reasons. Soon after, both he and his wife, Julianna, filed for divorce. The couple have three kids.

Zobrist has been in touch with the team throughout the process and recently reached out to his teammates. If he returns to the Cubs it's likely to be late in the season, potentially in September, according to one source.

"Certainly the door is open and the possibility of a return is there for him later in the season," Epstein said. "We'll see how things evolve. We'd all love to see him back here and he would love to be back. We'll see if that can come to fruition."

Zobrist is in the final year of a four-year deal with the Cubs. He was a few days late to spring training, also for personal reasons, then was scratched from the team's game on May 6 before going on the restricted list. Despite the news of the possibility of return, Epstein isn't committing Zobrist to anything just yet.

"Nothing has been determined," Epstein said.