The Ben Zobrist market continues to heat up; as the summer rolls on, the list of suitors continues to grow for the veteran utility man. Put down the Washington Nationals as the latest team to call the Oakland Athletics about the veteran’s availability. The Nationals have reportedly contacted the A’s about a potential deal, though talks are still preliminary at this point as reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
The Nationals make a lot of sense for Zobrist. They might not have at first, but since veteran outfielder Jayson Werth has gone down due to several small fractures in his wrist, they have a huge hole in left field. Zobrist has only played 51 games in left field throughout his career but his versatility and ability to play several positions on any club makes him a hot commodity at this point. Should he be dealt to the Nats, he will primarily man left field until Werth comes back, then probably bounce across the diamond filling for various guys so that they can have the day off and still enable the Nats to keep Zobrist’s bat in the lineup. For a team that has serious World Series aspirations, this is a deal that seems like a match made in heaven.
The A’s themselves have been on a little roll as they have seven of their last ten but still remain parked in last place in the AL West Division. They are staring at the backsides of the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers. It remains unlikely they would be able to pull off a run to capture another postseason appearance and with Zobrist in the final year of his contract, there is much more value to be had by dealing him before the deadline rather than holding on to him. Still, it remains unlikely that a Zobrist deal will happen in the near future since, as the season wears on, the list of suitors will continue to grow, making Zobrist more and more attractive, thus driving up the price.