MLB News: Ben Zobrist Is The New York Mets' 'No.1 Target'

MLB News: Ben Zobrist Is The New York Mets’ ‘No. 1 Target’

The New York Mets are eyeing the versatile Ben Zobrist as their “No. 1 target” this offseason as several other teams maintain interest, according to a series of tweets from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

The 34-year-old Zobrist is expected to be one of, if not the most sought-after free agents this offseason. Sometimes referred to as the “swiss army knife of baseball,” Zobrist’s ability to play multiple positions and be a switch-hitter would, in theory, make him a fit on almost every team in the league.

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports recently reported that the St. Louis Cardinals are expected to be serious bidders for Zobrist’s service, but as many as 20 teams are expected to check-in on him. The deciding factor, as Rosenthal mentioned earlier, would be the money each team would offer Zobrist. However, Zobrist told during the postseason that he enjoyed playing in Kansas City and wouldn’t rule out a return.

“It’s been a perfect fit, and it’s been a lot of fun just to kind of assimilate into this culture and the team, and I feel like I fit really well here. With Gordon being injured when I came over here and me being able to fill in that spot, and now with Omar being injured, it just kind of has made my position more valuable to this team, and it helps me feel like, ‘OK, I’m not taking anyone’s spot right now, I just get to do what I can for the team.'”

If it’s any indication of where Zobrist may want to sign, he and his wife Julianna named their newborn child Blaise Royal Zobrist.

Zobrist helped his case by enjoying another characteristically productive season in 2015. Splitting time between the Royals and Oakland Athletics, the 10-year veteran hit .276 with 13 HR and 56 RBI in 126 games. After suffering a torn medial meniscus during his brief stint with the A’s — which required surgery, keeping him out of action four-to-six weeks, via — Zobrist was able to finish 2015 with numbers close to his career averages.

Further building on his productive campaign, Zobrist also contributed to the Royals’ eventual 2015 World Series-winning postseason, hitting a combined .304 with 2 HR and 6 RBI between all three postseason rounds.

The Mets got a good look at Zobrist, as he hit four doubles in the World Series. At times, it appeared that Zobrist was at the forefront of every Royals rally.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, second baseman Daniel Murphy is expected to sign elsewhere as the Mets look to get younger at the position. But if the Mets do sign Zobrist, he will likely see most of his playing time come at the position. While Zobrist is older than Murphy, his versatility is likely the reason the Mets have such high interest in him.

Rosenthal also tweeted that the Mets’ AL East foe Atlanta Braves have interest in Zobrist. Braves GM John Coppolella tells Rosenthal that he can’t speak of specific players he’s targeting, but did offer high praise for Zobrist.

“I can’t comment on any free agent pursuits, but we will explore every possible opportunity to improve the club in the short- and long-term,” Coppolella told Rosenthal. “Ben Zobrist brings so much to the table on and off the field that he could help all 30 teams.”

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