Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF, Oakland Athletics
Apr 18, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Ben Zobrist (18) at bat against the Kansas City Royals during the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
The Cubs do not have as many needs offensively as they do on the pitching side. They have a roster loaded with young position players, and while some have not hit their stride yet, it is not easy to find an open everyday position available. Chris Coghlan has been a solid left fielder for the Cubs this season, but he is the one everyday player who could be easily upgraded.
Perhaps the call-up of Javier Baez would move Kris Bryant to left field, and Kyle Schwarber could also be called up to take starts in left field. Coghlan has been decent himself, and there are upgrades available on the roster, but I could see the Cubs going outside to upgrade their offense as well. Ben Zobrist feels like a perfect fit.
Zobrist was a favorite of current Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon while the two were in Tampa Bay, and his position versatility alone could help the Cubs tremendously.
Zobrist was a trade target of the Cubs this offseason, so it is easy to see how there could be interest once again. Zobrist is only hitting .240/.304/.400 with the A’s, but he has played both corner outfield spots and second base this season. Acquiring Zobrist would probably not come at a huge cost for the Cubs, and he could be a potential upgrade in left field for the team, while also bringing a lot of depth across the infield.
Maddon clearly loves Zobrist as a player, and adding his versatility to the roster would be a major win. If Zobrist cannot hold up offensively, the Cubs still have viable options on the roster, and Zobrist becomes an extremely valuable bench piece. Adding Zobrist into a trade with the Cubs also getting Kazmir seems to make a lot of sense.
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