Ben Zobrist is one of the top free agent players on the market this offseason and teams like the New York Mets, NY Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals could be interested in signing him. Zobrist had a strong season while playing for the Athletics and Royals and he could cash in big with a contract this winter.
Zobrist is reportedly looking for a long term deal and reports have at least 10 teams interested in signing the utility man, including the Kansas City Royals. The Royals may not want to pay top dollar for Zobrist at the age of 34 and that could price the team out after Zobrist helped KC win the World Series. According to Jon Heyman at CBS Sports, Zobrist wants a deal around the $60 million mark and is looking for a four-year contract.
Zobrist had a solid season while hitting .276 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI for Oakland and Kansas City and he brings some major versatility to the team that signs him. Zobrist can play basically every position on the baseball field, although he primarily is an infielder. Zobrist can fill the void at second base for teams and he also has experience playing at shortstop, third base and at all three outfield positions. The Yankees and Mets both have a need at second base, while the Cubs could look at signing Zobrist if they are considering trading Starlin Castro.
Zobrist has started meeting with teams and according to Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports, Zobrist met with the Mets on Wednesday. Zobrist reportedly met with both owner Jeff Wilpon and general manager Sandy Alderson and also looked around the area for potential homes. Rosenthal reports that the Giants, Dodgers and Nationals are also options for Zobrist. Heyman reported last week that the Cardinals "reached out" to Zobrist and that the Chicago Cubs also could be a potential target.
Jerry Crasnick at ESPN reports that Zobrist will be visiting with the east coast teams interested first and then will travel to visit with some of the west coast teams. Crasnick speculates that Zobrist could sign a deal during the upcoming winter meetings based on the timing of his visits.
According to Adam Rubin at ESPN New York, the Mets are very interested in Zobrist, but the team may not want to give a fourth year to the utility man on a contract. Rubin writes that Zobrist could be very useful for the Mets with David Wright coming off of injury issues and Daniel Murphy potentially leaving in free agency. Rubin writes that the team has taken a look at Asdrubal Cabrera, but that Zobrist remains a top target. The fourth year could be the major issue for the Mets.