Jul 7, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) at bat against the Kansas City Royals at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Mariners Trade Rumors: Making A Push For A Tampa Bay Ray, Not The One You Think

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.

1- Endy Chavez RF
2- James Jones CF
3- Robinson Cano 2B
4- Kyle Seager 3B
5- Marlon Byrd LF
6- Ben Zobrist SS
7- Logan Morrison 1B
8- Corey Hart DH
9- Mike Zunino C

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.

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Tags: Ben Zobrist Seattle Mariners Trade Rumors

  • Ian

    Above all else, Zobrist’s value comes in his versatility.

    He’s 33 and very obviously past his peak… but on the Mariners offense and in a middle infield/corner outfield position, his versatility will really come in handy and offset any offensive liabilities.

    Miller was starting to show signs of life (sort of, though not enough to instill genuine confidence), and a Miller coming off the bench does us no good moving forward.

    That’s where Zobrist’s versatility offers us a ton of flexibility, creating a fantastic platoon situation with Brad at SS and Endy in RF – neither of whom have hit for shit against lefties this season. Zobrist has absolutely destroyed lefties this year. With Zobrist in at SS/RF, we’d able to play the matchups/rotate offdays between Brad, Endy, and Ackley or Byrd (with Endy in LF) far better.

  • Sea-HAWK fan

    Sodo Mojo is a great site. I wish more Mariners fans knew about it! Anyways I like the idea depending on what we need to give up.

    • Dan Hughes

      Thanks for the love! We all work hard to make this site as good as it can be. Thanks for reading!

    • JJ Allen Keller

      Thanks boss! Tell your friends!

  • Jake

    Lets not forget about Saunders coming back healthy most likely in August…

    • CharlieSpencer-Davis

      Most likely being the operative phrase