Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist
Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.
* INF/OF Ben Zobrist. The two-time Rays MVP with the talented singer wife and too-cute kids is finishing strong after a slow start to his second season in Chicago, hitting .265 with a .350 OBP since the All-Star break. He remains valuable because of his versatility, starting 61 games at second, 25 in rightfield and nine in left, while also filling in at shortstop, and hitting in six different spots in the order.
* Reliever Wade Davis. Traded to Kansas City with James Shields in the Dec. 2012 blockbuster for Wil Myers, Davis has turned into one of the top relievers in the game, a three-time All-Star. Acquired by the Cubs for this season, Davis is a perfect 31-for-31 in save situations, extending the franchise record with each successful outing. His last blown save was more than a year ago, Sept. 2, 2016, when he did so for Kansas City against Detroit.
* Bench coach Dave Martinez. Passed over to succeed Maddon as the Rays wanted a "new voice" in hiring Kevin Cash, Martinez - who played for the Devil Rays and the was the Rays bench coach for seven seasons, plays an important role on Maddon's staff in Chicago.
* Catcher Rene Rivera. Dropped by the Rays at tne end of spring training 2016 after spending 2015 as their primary catcher, Rivera spent most of the last two seasons with the struggling Mets, then caught a break when the Cubs claimed him on waivers in mid-August, hitting .343 in 15 games.
The other former Rays are pitching coach Chris Bosio (same job with Rays in 2003), assistant hitting coach Eric Hinske (played for Rays in 2008), pitcher Mike Montgomery (played in Rays minor-league system 2013-14) and, of course, Maddon, who managed them to a 754-705 record and four playoff appearances in nine seasons from 2006-14.