KC Royals Rumors: How Would Ben Zobrist Look in Royal Blue


KC Royals rumors have mainly focused on starting pitching to help fix an injury-riddled rotation, but now a respected utility infielder is entering the conversation.

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Ben Zobrist spent the first nine years of his career with the Tampa Bay Rays, and earned a reputation as a solid, hard-nosed ball player who came up with timely hits and could play almost any position in the infield — and the outfield as well.

After compiling a .264 batting average, 114 home runs and 511 RBI in Tampa, he joined the Oakland A’s this past offseason, where he is on pace to produce well above his career numbers.

Through 40 games played, his average has dipped a bit to .250, but his five home runs and 26 RBI would convert to 21 and 105 respectively in a full season.

His slash line of .250/.333/.457 is pretty much the same as his career averages.

In other words, he hasn’t dipped any during his 10th year in the league, and if the rumor mill is accurate, Zobrist could end up in Kansas City.

While three infield positions are set, the starting spot for second base is up for grabs. It’s interesting that the current place holder, Omar Infante, could start the all-star game, but that doesn’t mean he’s good enough to keep his job in Kansas City.

A guy like Zobrist, who also can play the outfield, would be a great addition to the Royals.

Fox Sports and MLB Network’s John Morosi feels like there is a push for the reigning AL Champs to make a move for the veteran.

Cueto and Leake have long been rumored as pitchers that could fill a void for the Royals, but the interest in Zobrist is new.

But it makes sense.

It’s widely known the Royals have one of the best defenses in baseball, but the hole at second, where Infante is near the bottom of the AL in fielding percentage, is apparent.

It’s also a great feeling for a manager to be able to plug in a guy like Zobrist, who has played all three outfield positions and second base for the A’s this season, when his starters need a day off.

Steve Adams of MLBTradeRumors.com agrees with that sentiment. He wrote the following Monday on his site.

"From the Royals’ standpoint, it’s not hard to see why they’d be interested in an upgrade at second base. Setting aside the avalanche of Omar Infante/All-Star jokes already pouring in on Twitter, Kansas City second basemen have combined to hit a woeful .230/.248/.307 this season. Of course, Infante is owed a significant $22.01MM through the end of the 2017 season. (That number will rise by $500K if he does indeed start the All-Star game.)"

While Morosi, who per Adams’ article said it’s not clear if the Royals have truly made a play for Zobrist, feels pretty confident Kansas City is interested in him, his colleague Ken Rosenthal said it’s more of a matter that Zobrist is the perfect fit for the team with the best record in the AL.

In this very detailed article from Royals Review, it’s clear Kansas City would have to give up some top prospects to make a trade for Leake, Cueto or Cole Hamels. For Zobrist however, who is making $7.5 million this year and will be a free agent, the cost would most likely not be as high, but the Royals farm system is not as full as it once was.

What do you think? Would you like to see Ben Zobrist in Kansas City?

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