Trade rumors have been flying for months about the Seattle Mariners being interested in Tampa Bay ace David Price. We’ve been up one side and back down the other about why it’s a good idea and why it’s the worst idea ever.
But now, word is coming around that the Mariners are making a push to trade with Tampa Bay….just not for Price.
According to a tweet by Chris Cotillo, the Mariners are looking at Ben Zobrist.
But Cotillo isn’t alone. Marc Tompkin, the Rays beat writer for the Tampa Bay Times reported hearing some talks involving the Mariners and Zobrist as well. However, the San Francisco Giants are thought to be the most serious contender for Zobrist’s services.
Zobrist is a two-time All-Star that plays second base and outfield. He can also play shortstop and some wonder if that’s where they would put him. He’s not the power-hitting right-handed bat the Mariners are looking for (though he has three seasons of 20+ homers). He’s not even right-handed (he’s a switch hitter). But he does hit for a decent average, hits the gaps and can drive in runs.
Having Zobrist bat 5th behind Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager could generate quite a bit of offense. Having him play shortstop leaves the door open for the M’s to still go out and acquire someone like Marlon Byrd to bat 6th (or 5th with Zobrist 6th) and play in left.
Suppose the Mariners pull the trigger on this and the Byrd deal. Look at this lineup.
Now, you could move Hart and LoMo up and drop Byrd and Zobrist into the 7-8 spots. Find the out in that lineup when they get rolling. It may not be perfect, but it’s an improvement.
And if the Mariners get Billy Butler from Kansas City as is being rumored, drop Corey Hart (despite Butler’s down year, it’s better than Hart) off the roster and things could get serious in a hurry for Seattle.