Atlanta Braves Rumors: Ben Zobrist Target After Addison Russell, Javier Baez Trades Denied as Shelby Miller Shopped for Jorge Soler, Joc Pederson?

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Dec 04, 2015 12:45 PM EST
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Ben Zobrist
Kanas City Royals infielder Ben Zobrist wins at a pitch during a 2015 game."

The Atlanta Braves are certainly trying to keep the MLB offseason interesting as they continue to be sellers on the market. For the past week it appeared like a lock that Shelby Miller would follow the likes of Andrelton Simmons and Cameron Maybin by getting traded. However, so far the Braves are not agreeing on any deals. If Miller stays put, what is the next move made by Atlanta?

According to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, the Braves are not necessarily shopping Miller, but are listening to offers on the 25-year-old pitcher. However, it looks more than likely that Atlanta will retain their ace for at least another season. So who is next for the team? According to ESPN.com, Darren O'Day is a priority target to add to the bullpen, but interest is high on the reliever and they could be priced out. He is expected to command a contract worth at least four years and $30 million which is not something Atlanta is looking to hand out. So why is the team eyeing Ben Zobrist?

In an effort to make up for the loss of Simmons, MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Braves are preparing to bid on Zobrist in the coming days. The 35-year-old infielder known for his versatility on the field is one of the most popular names on the market right now with plenty of teams ready to make a move. Zobrist could command a contract worth three years which would make him a heavy investment for Atlanta. Given Zobrist's age, he is not the typical target the Braves are looking at right now and the interest in him could simply just be for show to please the fan base.

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Braves already signed veteran Gordon Beckham to a one-year contract to fill an infield spot. That could mean they are not serious about the interest in Zobrist. The Braves have shown interest in trading for an infielder like Javier Baez and Addison Russell along with young outfielders like Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson. So far all of those trade deals have involved Miller and if the Braves are not aiming on trading the pitcher then they need to look elsewhere for infield help. The chances that involves Zobrist are slim to none. 

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