Few free agents have generated as much buzz as Ben Zobrist this offseason, and yesterday’s news suggests he could be close to a decision about his new team. Here’s the latest…
- A decision is expected within the next 48 hours, Morosi tweets.
- It “appears” that Zobrist would prefer to be installed at second base, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets. That would appear to suggest that Washington and New York present better fits than do the Giants.
- Zobrist has expressed interest in holding down a somewhat regular job at one position, Mets AGM John Ricco told reporters, including Marc Carig of Newsday (via Twitter). New York could plug him in as the more-or-less everyday second baseman, of course. The club met with his agents again today in what could be the final meeting between the sides, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com tweets.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo also noted in his media session that he’d see Zobrist mostly as a second baseman in Washington, as Mark Zuckerman of CSNmidatlantic tweets. Rizzo did add that he also likes that Zobrist could contribute in the outfield and “spoke glowingly” of the free agent.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that Zobrist would like to make a decision by the time the Winter Meetings conclude on Thursday. Zobrist is currently focused on the Mets, Nationals and Giants, according to Rosenthal, who says it’d be difficult at this point for the Dodgers to pry him away from one of those clubs.
- The Dodgers are the mystery fourth team in the Zobrist race, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. Los Angeles joins the Mets, Nationals and Giants as the teams who are apparently the deepest in pursuit of the veteran. All parties seem to understand it will require a four-year contract to land Zobrist at this point. Despite Zobrist’s versatility, there isn’t as obvious a position for him in L.A. as the other cities, Heyman notes, especially since Chase Utley just re-signed with the club to join the second base mix. Then again, Andrew Friedman knows all about how to creatively deploy Zobrist from their days together in Tampa Bay.
- The Braves were a somewhat surprising bidder for Zobrist’s services, though David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution outlines why the team feels the 34-year-old is a fit for a seemingly rebuilding club. Firstly, the Braves don’t intend to be in a rebuild stage for long, as they’re still targeting 2017 (and the opening of their new ballpark) for a return to contention. Moving Shelby Miller for a package of players could address enough needs that it would free up payroll room to ink Zobrist, possibly on a backloaded contract. While the Braves aren’t as close to contending as Zobrist’s other suitors, O’Brien points out that Atlanta is within four hours of Zobrist’s home in Tennessee.
I knew it would be the Dodgers that screwed us
Utley isn’t an every day second baseman. I think the Dodgers view him as a guy who can play 2b, 1b, and 3b. As it is, he’d likely split time with Peraza. I could see the Dodgers going after Zobrist to play second, and using Utley as insurance for Justin Turner at third, who also needs regular time off. I don’t think the Dodgers ultimately get him.
Isn’t Enrique Hernandez a better hitter than Zobrist and equally multi-positional? Why the heck would Dodgers want him? Heck, Austin Barnes is an equally good option.
If they need two closers why not two super-ultiity players?
Zobrist had the 5th highest WAR in MLB I think last year and is very proven switch hitter with postseason experience. Kike is still very young but his potential will not be much better than he did last year. Hooks the ball too much and will most likely be a second string sort of player
Looks like Utley is going to split time w/ Kike since Peraza is now a Cinci Red….
I think the Dodgers are just trying to raise the price on the Giants since they need him more than the Dodgers.
Since Atl wants BZ, Sign BZ to that 4 year deal then trade him for SMiller and whatever works. LA uses its money to give him the deal he wants and Atl gets the player they need
I don’t believe you can trade free agents that you sign until June.
Atlanta wouldn’t trade for him, he’s not a pitcher!
I have a hard time believing anybody will pry Zobrist away from the Mets, due to the fact that Zobrist is the only notable person the Mets are interested in.
“Focused On” Mets, Nats, Giants” – As a Braves fan I am quite relieved to see the Braves aren’t on this list. Z will probably get a nice sized contract and may help a team progress, but he is 34 and I don’t want the Braves to end up with another bad contract on their hands when Z inevitably starts declining.
Four years is what he’s going to get, but four years for a player of this age who’s value comes in part from his athleticism and versatility seems a stretch. Still, he’s been a very good player for a very long time, and made less money than many others while being more valuable. More power to him.
I hope the mets make him an offer he can’t refuse.He is the key to their off season additions.No draft pick compensation makes him a great pickup.If Murphy signs elsewhere,they pick up another high choice.
I would be really surprised if he ended up with the nats – that is one toxic clubhouse.
I vote Nats
Just wondering but would Mets fans really be happy
with a light hitting Zobrist coming their way?
Curtis enjoyed some what of a comeback year but
don’t they need another power source?
Maybe they can sign the likes of Pedro Alvarez or Chris Carter but
how do you guys feel about the whole pursuit?
I’d be thrilled with Z. He’s an improvement over Murphy defensively, gets on-base more, and they’d gain a draft pick by signing him (and letting Murph go).
The problem with power is that it is A. quite expensive, and B. in the outfield, where they have a solid three players (Conforto, Lagares, Grandy) all set.
alvarez is a defensive liability so i dont think mets will pursue him Desmond or Cabrera before Alvarez. confirto granderson darnaud and duda will all hit at least 24 Hr in 2016
With talks the talk Arizona is trying strong to get Shelby I have trade for between them could make since if Arizona is really trying to go compete with Dodgers and Giants , and Braves are going to suck for at lease 3 more years . Her it is.
Julian Tehran ( who they really want in Upton trade)
And arodys vizcaino
C stryler thahon
Of/3b yams any Tomas ( who Braves want last year)
And com pic
In the trade Arizona get
2 starter 3 relievers
Markakis replaces Tomas in outfield
And young catch
Ss in Swanson
Some more arms
And in Tomas they like last year who they can put in right field and there are a lot more cubic in Atlanta then there is in Arizona (Olivia Garcia and Toscano and hey get bet left they need for there bull pin
As a mets fan I hope he makes the right choice and signs here.
The Nats seem like the best fit, they are the closest team to Nashville.
mets IF -Duda, Zobrist, Desmond,Wright
It would cost at least $35 mill/yr to sign Desmond and Zobust. That would be a disaster.
tejada – 2nd fracture; flores done with ‘winter’ ball before the start if Winter due to injury. mets desperate for midfle IF
There is no need for Ben Zobrist to rush into a free agent deal this week. With so many teams showing interest in the versatile veteran his value will remain high throughout the offseason and may actually improve when some teams finalize decisions regarding players that might currently be hindering their attempts to acquire him.
The Cubs are one such team that would figure to be high on Zobrist’s wish list. Once they determine possible destinations for either Starlin Castro or Javier Baez, the opportunity for Zobrist to play 2B regularly (his offseason preference) may open up for him.
Zobrist would undoubtedly relish a chance to reunite with former manager Joe Maddon and finish his career with a serious World Series contender. The Eureka, Illinois native would also remain closer to his Franklin, Tennessee residence than some other locations, including N.Y or any out West.
The Cubs would benefit from having a switch-hitting, high OBP and low strike-out top of the order veteran presence in their young lineup. Maddon would love his versatility afield, even should the 2B position open up for Zobrist to play regularly. Maddon has never been bashfull about moving his players around in the course of a ball game with his micro-managing, especially now that he is in the National League. How many times did starting 3B Kris Bryant wound up in the outfield last season, or vice versa? LF Chris Coghlan often played 2 or 3 different positions during the course of a ball game, Ditto for Javier Baez, Starlin Castro, Kyle Schwarber and even Addison Russell. Zobrist is more than capable of doing the same for the Cubs with his ability to play as many as 7 different field positions proficiently.
I see Zobrist as a great match for the Cubs…and the Cubs as an excellent destination for Zobrist. He has an opportunity to finish his fine MLB career with the manager he started with, one who was instrumental in recognizing and trusting his versatility in the batting order and afield, who helped Zobrist become the valuable and winning player he is today.