Jul 1, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielderBen Zobrist
(18) high fives teammates after scoring a run against the Colorado Rockies during the seventh inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Ben Zobrist is, hands down, the best candidate to help out the Kansas City Royals while Alex Gordon (hopefully) recovers for the September playoff push. The 34-year-old Zobrist is a super utility player that has historically been a plus defender at pretty much every position on the diamond besides catcher.
The switch-hitting Ben Zobrist is slashing .255/.344/.431 after a horrible start to the season. But, he has swung a potent bat in the last month while hitting .310/.404/.529.
What makes Zobrist so appealing for the KC Royals is that he can fill in for Gordon over the next two months, and then move to second base in case Omar Infante continues to wallow at the plate. Even better, Zobrist is a patient hitter. In short, he provides the ability to work pitchers that the Kansas City Royals will need without Alex Gordon in the lineup.
The problem is that A’s general manager Billy Beane isn’t yet ready to sell. The A’s are 25-18 since May 23 before play on July 9, and are 8.5 games behind the second wild card spot in the American League.
Add in that even if Beane decides to move Zobrist, the KC Royals will have a horde of competitors. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has even said he is willing to overpay to get Zobrist, according to Newsday’s Joel Sherman.
The Mets aren’t the only other interested party. The Yankees, Angels, and pretty much every other contender has kicked the tires on Zobrist, because he can help out almost every position.
That means Zobrist won’t come cheap, even though he is in the final year of his contract.
I can’t even begin to guess at what a Zobrist deal might cost, given that teams are willing to overpay for him. Billy Beane probably continues to dither, because he knows that he’s got a favorable market.
Waiting will just drive up the price.
Next: San Diego Padres Justin Upton