Most of the attention being paid to the Tampa Bay Rays in recent weeks has been centered on the fate of left-hander David Price, but Ben Zobrist has started to command some attention with the trade deadline rapidly approaching. A few teams have emerged as potential suitors, with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times noting that the San Francisco Giants appear to be the team most interested in the versatile veteran. Topkin also includes the Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners as potential suitors.
The 33 year old is hitting .269/.354/.405 on the year in 363 PA, with 6 HR and 19 2B. He’s seen time at second base, shortstop, and each of the outfield corners.
Zobrist would likely step in at second base for either the Giants or Reds. San Francisco has seen minimal production at the position all season, but did just activate Marco Scutaro off the disabled list over the weekend. Cincinnati lost Brandon Phillips to a torn ligament in his thumb and he’s expected to be out until at least late August.
With Seattle, however, Zobrist would likely take over at shortstop. The Mariners spent big this past offseason to bring in Robinson Cano to hold down second base and he’s certainly not going to be moved to another position.
It remains to be seen what the Rays will be seeking in return for Zobrist. The club has vastly underperformed this season and has dealt with numerous injuries. Moving forward the only position that would appear to be a certainty for them is third base, suggesting that they could look to simply get the best talent back in return in any deals they complete rather than focusing on a particular need.