Ben Zobrist is one of the top free agent players on the market this offseason and teams like the NY Yankees, LA Dodgers, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals reportedly have interest in signing him. Zobrist is a versatile player who can handle all infield and outfield positions.
Zobrist was traded to the Kansas City Royals at the deadline this past season and he helped lead the team to the World Series. Zobrist had a solid season while hitting .276 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI and now he has the chance to sign a lucrative free agent contract. Zobrist has been getting interest from numerous teams, as Jon Heyman at CBS Sports reports that at least 12 teams could be in the running to sign Zobrist. Heyman reports that the Mets see Zobrist as a "number 1 target," while teams like the Nationals. Giants, Cardinals and Dodgers are "also in the mix."
The Royals have interest in keeping Zobrist, but the team is not "expected to make a large enough offer," according to Heyman. Zobrist is reportedly looking for a four-year deal, but some teams may balk at that number with Zobrist turning 35 this coming season. Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports reports that the Nationals and the Cardinals have interest in Zobrist, while Adam Rubin at ESPN New York writes that the Mets would be thrilled to sign Zobrist, but may not be willing to go the four years he is looking for on a deal.
Rosenthal writes that the fourth year for Zobrist could be the deciding factor in where he ends up signing. The Mets would love to upgrade the infield with Zobrist, who can handle playing second base, shortstop and the outfield if needed. Zobrist also could be an option to help limit David Wright at third base, as the Mets star has dealt with serious injuries over the past year. Rubin writes that the Mets have "not ruled out" bringing back Daniel Murphy if he is willing to sign at a "hometown discount," while Asdrubal Cabrera has also come up as a free agent target for the team.
Tom Verducci said on MLB Network that he expects the Nationals to be among the "high bidders" for Zobrist, while the Cubs also could be an option. The Nationals are expected to let Denard Span go in free agency and Zobrist likely would serve in a utility role if he came to Washington. The Cubs have been mentioned in some Starlin Castro trade talks and if that deal happens, Zobrist could be an option to take over second base in Chicago. The team has money to spend, but they may not want to dish out four years for a player at Zobrist's age.
The Giants have been mentioned in connection with most outfielders in free agency and the team also could be an option for Zobrist. Ken Rosenthal reports that Alex Gordon and Yoenis Cespedes are potential options for the Giants, but that the team may wait and see if they can sign Zack Greinke before making other moves.