Free agent Ben Zobrist is expected to draw lots of interest from multiple teams on the open market this offseason. One of those expected to be in the running are the Washington Nationals, according to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The Nationals are a good fit because of Zobrist’s ability to play many positions.
Zobrist has also been linked to both New York teams, along with many others. A return to the Kansas City Royals cannot be counted out. The Royals acquired Zobrist in July from Oakland as an important piece to try to do something they were unsuccessful in achieving the previous year. Zobrist ended up winning the 2015 World Series with the Royals.
Zobrist, who is 34 years old, is seeking a three-year deal. Zobrist derives much of his value because he can play all over the field. The Nationals are expected to lose free agents Ian Desmond and Denard Span. Zobrist can play a corner outfield position with Bryce Harper moving to center. He could also play second base. Zobrist is a career .265 hitter with good on-base skills. The switch-hitter would slide nicely into the Nationals lineup.
Tom Verducci reported that the Nationals could wind up in a bidding war for Zobrist with the New York Mets, another team in need of middle infield and outfield depth.
The Nationals are coming off a disappointing campaign in 2015 and Zobrist would be a tremendous acquisition to the team that could use another veteran presence in the clubhouse. While Zobrist might not necessarily fill a glaring need, he would provide good value while the Nationals attempt to keep their window for contention open a few more years.