Jul 6, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Ben Zobrist (18) hits an RBI single in the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Zobrist on radar of San Francisco Giants

Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays should be on the radar of a few contending teams. The San Francisco Giants are the team that is more prominently mentioned, but you get the feeling we’re not hearing as much about Zobrist because of another Rays player.

From yesterday…

What makes Zobrist so attractive to the Giants?

1. Zobrist is durable. Over the past five seasons, Zobrist has played in at least 151 games in each, averaging more than 154 games played.

2. Zobrist has steadily produced offense. Since 2009, Zorbrist sports a slashline of .269/.366/.442 with a OPS+ of 124. Only once has his OPS+ been under 100. He can also steal you a base if the situation warrants (91 steals within same time span). He offers some pop (97 HR) and run scoring capability (480 R).

3. Zobrist offers positional flexibility. He has played at every position except catcher and pitcher. He could probably catch, and I wouldn’t put it past him to have the ability to pitch. The two positions he has played the most: second base and right field.

4. His defense is actually quite good. As a second baseman, his career DRS is 49. For right field, it’s 27. Granted, if Zobrist heads to San Francisco, he won’t be playing right.

5. The Dan Uggla experiment didn’t look too good last night. Uggla was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. He scored a run, but also committed two fielding errors. One of those led to a run. The Giants lost to their hated rival LA, 4-3.

With the exception of #5, any contending team should be checking in with the Rays on Zobrist’s availability. They would not be doing their due diligence if they weren’t.

Zobrist will be a free agent after season’s end, and with the Giants still owing Marco Scutaro over $6 million for next season, you have to inquire of the Giants potential to keep Zobrist past this season. Zobrist is five years younger (Scutaro is 38) and hasn’t had the injury complications.

So why aren’t we hearing more about these “other teams”? Better yet, why aren’t we hearing more about Ben Zobrist? He has a lot to offer a club, especially a contending team, even if it would only be for the rest of the 2014 season.

Tags: Ben Zobrist

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