The Mets have expressed interest in Oakland Athletics’ utilityman Ben Zobrist, according to Bob Klapisch of The Record. While he added that nothing is imminent, Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson told the media on Monday that the team will be looking outside of the organization for offensive help this season. The Mets are 24th in the majors in runs scored and are hitting just .239/.305/.364 as a team.
Zobrist, 34, is currently batting .234/.310/.403 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 22 games this season. He is in the final season of a four-year contract worth $18 million. If the Mets are indeed buyers at the trade deadline, it appears logical that they would be interested in a player like him. He has the third highest fWAR in all of baseball since the start of the 2009 season. Only Miguel Cabrera and Andrew McCutchen rank higher in this category.
Additionally, Zobrist can play both middle-infield positions as well as right field. With David Wright out for the foreseeable future, the Mets could look to move either Daniel Murphy or Wilmer Flores to third base should they acquire a better defensive middle infielder. Both have spent time at third position in the past.
While no trade for Ben Zobrist or anyone else appears to be imminent, it will be interesting to see what happens come the July 31 trade deadline. Barring a historic turnaround, the Athletics will be sellers this summer as they currently have the worst record in the American League. Zobrist would be a valuable piece for a playoff contender looking to add a bat, and the fact that he is in his contract year makes it significantly more likely that he will be dealt later this summer.