Report: Mets interested in Ben Zobrist and Gerardo Parra

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Rich MacLeodAs the offseason slowly treks forward, the Mets have two particular areas where they need to upgrade: center field and second base.

With Yoenis Cespedes who manned center for most of the second half after the Mets acquired him at the July 31st trade deadline and Daniel Murphy–the team’s second baseman for the last few seasons–both likely on their way out, the team will have to find viable ways to replace them.

Two players who could do that very thing are Ben Zobrist and Gerardo Parra, who the Mets have expressed interest in, according to Marc Carig of Newsday.

However, Kristie Ackert of the Daily News warns due to the high demand for Zobrist’s services, his price tag could push beyond the Mets comfort zone.

At 34, Zobrist isn’t likely to garner a mega-contract, but could still very well get a three-to-four year contract as he batted .276/.359/.450 with 26 doubles, 13 home runs, 56 RBI and an .809 OPS this past season with the A’s and Royals.

Zobrist would be a productive, contact-oriented bat into the Mets lineup, all while having the versatility to play both second base and either corner outfield position.

Parra, who like Zobrist the Mets showed interest in around the trade deadline this past year, had an overall productive season, but faltered after he was acquired by the Orioles in July as he hit .237/.268/.357 with 12 doubles, five home runs, 20 RBI and a .625 OPS in 55 games.

Still, Parra could prove to be a valuable player to pair with Juan Lagares in a platoon in center field, as Parra hit .303/.336/.473 with 34 doubles, 11 home runs, 38 RBI and an .809 OPS against right-handed pitchers in 2015.

3 Comments

While I understand the reluctance to give Cespedes a 6 year deal he is still just 30 years old and keeps himself in great physical shape. I have a hard time understanding why the Mets would consider Zobrist who will be 35 next season and is s aid to be seeking a 4 year deal.
We mistakenly forfeited a 1st round draft pick for Cuddyer last year and cannot see Sandy forfeiting one again this year. Cespedes has shown he can handle NY, is a known commodity and transformed the lineup and energized the fan base.
He is not as good as his first 7 weeks with us, nor as bad as the last few weeks. He is what he is and that is a player who lifted our entire lineup that had been dead last in most categories and made everyone in the lineup better. Yes he has his faults and chases too many pitches, but all players have their limitations and faults. He is a 5 tool player and I think worth bringing back.
Cannot see weakening a strength (our starting pitching) by trading a pitcher for a bat when we could just retain him. Also gave up a pretty good prospect for him.
None of the names mentioned as possible additions to the lineup do much for me.
We have a window for the next few years while the pitching is still under salary control to make a splash. This is our time and we should do all we can to make the most of these next few years.

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My understanding is the Mets would not lose a draft pick under the new system because Zobrist wasn’t given a qualifying offer. Cuddyer was given a qualifying offer from the Rockies

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Why would they be ok giving a 3-4 year contract to a soon to be 34 year old Zobrist but not consider 5-6 years for a 5 tool 30 year old Cespedes?

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