Over the first few weeks of the offseason, the Mets have shown clear interest in free agent second baseman Ben Zobrist–but they’re not the only ones.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the division rival Washington Nationals also interested in Zobrist’s services, as they are in need of a left-handed hitting infielder and outfielder–both roles that the switch-hitting veteran can fill.
While Zobrist’s production at the plate and versatility in the field makes him a fit for almost every team in the league, the Mets and Nationals are going to be ‘high bidders’ to sign him in free agency, per Tom Verducci of MLB Network, although the Cardinals have emerged as an interested party, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
The Mets were interested in acquiring Zobrist in a trade this past season from the A’s, but those talks stalled thanks to a disagreement over the asking price. Zobrist was ultimately sent to the Royals in a deal that netted Billy Beane left-hander pitcher Sean Manea, the Royals second best prospect.
Now, however, Zobrist is a free agent and is not tied to a draft pick, making him a great fit for the Mets–or any other team–as they’re looking to upgrade their defense, their swing-to-contact methodology, and their overall versatility.
The Mets interest in Zobrist has been labeled as serious, and the club reportedly held a conference call with Zobrist last week in an effort to recruit him to Flushing.
This past season, the 34-year-old Zobrist hit .276/.359/.450 with 36 doubles, 13 home runs, 56 RBI and an .809 OPS in 126 games with the A’s and Royals.
At least ten teams – including the Cardinals, Royals, Mets and Nationals – have reportedly expressed interest in Zobrist.
Original post: November 24, 2:30 pm
Updated: November 25, 9:30 am