Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Yankees and Mets expected to battle it out for Ben Zobrist: Report

It's highly unlikely the Yankees and Mets will be battling it out against each other in a World Series anytime soon but, if either team can land Ben Zobrist before the MLB trade deadline, one of the two New York teams believes they will have strengthened their chances for the playing long into the fall.

Zobrist, one of the most underrated players in Major League Baseball, was acquired by the Oakland A's in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays prior to the season. However, with Zobrist eligible for free agency after the season and the A's now in last place in their division, Zobrist is expected to be one player who is available for the right price.

And the word is that the Mets, along with their cross-town Yankees, are interested in acquiring Zobrist — making it one of those rare occasion when the two Subway Series rivals are vying for the same player.

The Mets have already talked to the A's about trading for Zobrist, according to the New York Daily News. And even upped the ante when it was reported that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is willing to "overpay" for the utility player to help boost the team's offense. The Nationals and Giants are in play for him.

However, at the time of the report (July 3) Zobrist had reportedly been taken off the market as the A's got hot and won 12 of 18 games. That likely changed quickly as the A's then lost five of their next seven games and now sit 8.5 games back in their division with the worst record in the American League.

Zobrist is one of the best utility players in the game — one of those types of players who become more important during late-season playoff runs. And besides his versatility in the field, he can hit. Since the start of the 2009 season, only two players in all MLB have been worth more Wins Above Replacement (WAR) than Zobrist.

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