Ben Zobrist is not necessarily the big thumping hitter that many people believe the Seattle Mariners should pursue as the trade deadline approaches, but he would still provide a decided upgrade to their lineup.
Zobrist, who is batting .266/.352/.401 this season with six home runs and 26 RBI, is reportedly on the radar of a number of potential trade suitors, including the San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, and St. Louis Cardinals. Of that group, the Mariners would seem to have the most glaring need for Zobrist.
In the case of the other teams considered, their interest is conditional. The Giants are waiting to see what they will get out of Marco Scutaro after his return from a back injury. The Reds will assess their other backup plans while Brandon Phillips is out before making the move. The Cardinals will see if Kolten Wong can maintain anything like his recent hot streak before jumping to make a move.
The Mariners, meanwhile, have a need that seemingly is not going away anytime soon. It makes sense, then, that Chris Cotillo has heard that Seattle is making a push to acquire Zobrist away from the Tampa Bay Rays.
— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) July 15, 2014
It may not be worth anything, such as these rumors go this time of year. But given the need for an offensive upgrade for the Mariners and their perceived urgency relative to the other potential buyers for Zobrist, it makes sense if they are in fact pushing the hardest to get a deal done.