With hot stove season in full effect it is clear the the New York Mets need to sign or trade for a middle infielder that can play good defense and produce at the plate. Ben Zobrist is a guy that is on the market that would make complete sense for them.
Year in and year out, Zobrist puts up similar numbers no matter the team he is playing for. This can be huge for the Mets considering a majority of their team was streaky at the plate offensively. He will bring much needed stability to the young ,but talented Mets lineup. Ben hit .276 with a .359 on-base percentage this season, and with numbers like these Zobrist would plug right into general manager Sandy Alderson’s philosophy of getting on base. Zobrist is also a switch-hitter which is somewhat of a forgotten art in the game of baseball.
Zobrist would solve the Mets problems, both in the middle infield and outfield. In his career, he’s played both areas effectively and is a guy who can be plugged in with ease. This would help the Mets greatly considering they have proven to be an injury prone team that needs guys to help fill voids left by injuries.
To go along with injuries Zobrist is a durable player. Aside from last season, he has played in at least 146 games a year in his career which shows he has a decent amount miles on him, but year in and year out continues to preform at a high level.
Zobrist is 34-years old and this will most likely be his last long term contract he will sign in his career, so he will want to play for a team that is able to contend while he is there.
It is reported that Zobrist will command about a three-to-four year deal in around the $40-$50 million dollar range. This is a very fair price for a guy that can fill two big holes that the Mets are presented with.
To put this into perspective, the Mets signed Bartolo Colon to a two-year, $20 million dollar contract when he was 40-years old. In his two years in Queens, he has performed at an exceptional level for someone of his age. Think of it this way, the Mets would be paying Zobrist around the same amount of money per year as they did Colon, but Zobrist will play everyday rather than every fifth day, and is also eight years younger.
Zobrist also brings veteran leadership to clubhouse. With the likely departures of Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe the Mets need some productive veteran leadership. Zobrist provides this in a number of different ways, and now with a world series ring under his belt his value to teams like the Mets has only gone up.
Mets fans will say “we can sign Daniel Murphy for that kind of money,” which would be true. Murph and Zobrist will have relative similar markets, however the upside in signing Zobrist over Murphy is that Zobrist provides better defense, can platoon in both the infield and outfield, and puts up similar numbers offensively.
When I look at Zobrist, I see a guy that would fit perfectly in Queens. Good batting average, good defense, and a team player – three big qualities that are game changers for teams looking to make a championship push like the Mets.
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