San Francisco Giants in the Mix for Ben Zobrist

With the Tampa Bay Rays having recently signed SS Asdrubal Cabrera to a one-year deal, there is rampant speculation that the Rays are shopping 2Bman Ben Zobrist, who becomes a free agent after the 2015 season.  If the Rays are hoping to compete in 2015, it would probably make more sense for them to trade their current SS Yunel Escobar.  However, Escobar is under contract through 2017 are a reasonable rate, and the market is probably more excited about Zobrist, because of the latter’s ability to play many defensive positions well and his high on-base percentages.

Zobrist does look like a perfect fit for the Giants, since he can platoon in left field with Gregor Blanco (Zobrist switch-hits, but hits lefties better), and can play 2B or 3B if either Joe Panik or Casey McGehee gets hurt or under-performs.  Zobrist’s leaving in a year isn’t all that important to the Giants, since they are without question a team trying to squeeze another championship out of an aging team.

The question, of course, is just how much it will cost the Giants to get him, given that there are reportedly a great number of teams that would like to add Zobrist, if he is indeed available.  It’s pretty much a given that the Rays will make the deal with whatever team gives them the best package of young players.  The fact that Zobrist only has one year left of his contract is perhaps the one thing that will keep his trade value relatively modest.

There is also some question regarding how Zobrist would adjust to a new league after a long career exclusively in the Junior Circuit.  However, he’s coming from an extreme pitchers’ park, so playing in AT&T Park shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

He’s also a veteran player who would likely fit in well in the Giants’ clubhouse, and, as I said, his high on-base percentages would help just about any major league line-up.



Explore posts in the same categories: San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Rays

6 Comments on “San Francisco Giants in the Mix for Ben Zobrist”

  1. kabeiser Says:

    Imo Asdrubal was signed so they could create a trade asset (Zobrist) and stockpile more prospects. You are right though that Escobar would be the better choice to trade but he has almost zero trade value and I’m not sure the Rays are making moves so they can compete this year.

    • kabeiser Says:

      Didn’t expect the A’s to be involved but this played out precisely like I expected. They got the prospect that they were looking for and I really like Robertson. I didn’t expect Yunel to be involved but I also don’t think that Rays are playing to win this year.

      • Burly Says:

        I was surprised in that there hadn’t been much reported about the A’s being involved until the reports came out that the Rays and A’s were on the verge of a deal. I’m not surprised that the A’s would trade for Zobrist, though. Billy Beane highly values defense, flexibility/platooning and on-base percentage, and those are Zobrist’s strong points.

        Based on the final package the A’s gave up, I do tend to think that the Rays probably asked the Giants for Kyle Crick and Andrew Susac, and if the Giants had been willing to part with those two, the Giants would have gotten Zobrist. Just too much to give up for one year of Zobrist.

      • Burly Says:

        Robertson is very impressive young hitter, but my guess he ends up at 2B, because his numbers as a SS are not particularly impressive. The A’s will miss Jaso, who is very useful left-handed hitting platoon player.

  2. Burly Says:

    Rays Colored Glasses at proposes the Giants trade RHP Kyle Crick and C Andrew Susac for Zobrist. I can’t see the Rays turning down that offer, because it’s certainly worth one year of Zobrist and a 2nd Round Draft pick in 2016. It would be a heavy price for the Giants to pay, and it would obviously come down to how much they value Crick and Susac as future Giants.

    Crick’s stuff is great and although he’s still extremely wild, he’s still on pace to be a major league starter by age 24. There’s also reason to believe that Susac will be at least a better than average back-up catcher for the next decade, based on his past professional performance.

    I don’t believe Crick will help the Giants before 2016, but Susac is certainly likely to help the Giants as their primary back-up catcher in 2015.

    • Burly Says:

      After missing the last two months of the MLB season with a concussion, Hector Sanchez hit .250 with a .574 OPS in 18 games in the Venezuelan Winter League this off-season. That certainly doesn’t inspire confidence that Sanchez would be an adequate back-up catcher for the Giants in 2015 were the team to trade Susac.

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