Court Records Reveal Ben Zobrist’s Absence Due to Pending Divorce Proceedings (Updated)

Ben Zobrist was placed on the restricted list a week ago due to a personal matter, potentially the same one that held him back from the start of spring training. The Cubs have remained mum, understandably so, saying only that the 37-year-old utility man would be absent for a while.

“I would absolutely call it ‘indefinite’ right now,” Joe Maddon said prior to Tuesday’s win in Cincinnati.

Rumors have swirled in the days since Zobrist left the team and they’ll undoubtedly continue into the future, but some facts have recently been revealed. According to publicly available court filings dated May 13 — and first tweeted by The Son Ranto Show’s Danny Rockett — Julianna Zobrist has filed for divorce with the Circuit Court of Cook County.

And as of this point, that is all we know and all we need to know. The whys and hows may come out at some point and there’ll certainly be speculative whispers in the meantime, but it’s frankly none of our business. To be honest, I was hesitant to write anything about it at all given the sensitive nature of the topic.

But it’s public record at this point and my hope is that a measure of truth will stem some of the rumor tide by answering the most basic questions. That said, there’ll certainly be a lot more curiosity when Zobrist eventually returns to the Cubs. If he returns to the Cubs.

Baseball is honestly the least important factor in this right now, so here’s to hoping everyone involved is able to move forward and take care of themselves. Divorce is almost never simply or easy, especially when kids are involved and the parents are public figures. Whether and when Zobrist is willing and able to play ball again is up to him, and kudos to the Cubs on giving him the space to figure that out.

Again, I’m sure there’ll be more on this in the coming days and weeks. In the meantime, I’d encourage you to let things play out rather than fall prey to salacious rumor-mongering.

Update: According to the Tennessean, Zobrist has filed his own complaint for legal separation, in Williamson County, Tennessee.

The three-page filing says his wife “has been guilty of inappropriate marital conduct which render further cohabitation impossible.”


The filing says Zobrist, 37, hopes the parties will enter into a marital dissolution agreement and permanent parenting plan, or for a judge to enter an order of legal separation and have the two live separately, “unless they can reconcile.”


“Husband is unsure if the marriage can be salvaged,” the filing says.

And this may mean absolutely nothing, just a procedural matter based on what’s required in Tennessee since the couple shared a home there.

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