(CBS) It sure sounds like Athletics general manager Billy Beane will have plenty of leverage in selling off utilityman Ben Zobrist to the highest bidder ahead of Friday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
Zobrist is drawing interest wide interest from a variety of teams on the trade market, CBSSports.com MLB insider Jon Heyman reported Monday. That includes serious inquiries from the Cubs, Pirates, Royals, Angels and Yankees, according to Heyman.
The Cubs have been open in their desire to add a versatile player who can help spell a young core down the stretch that’s struggled to hit lately. Zobrist can play every position except catcher.
“Depth in the infield has been a challenge for us,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Friday. “We had a couple guys we were counting on in spring training get hurt. I do believe the offensive slump we have had is because of having to over-play some guys in stretches. If we can get guys a few days off so we can mix and match better, it can only help those guys.”
Zobrist would be a two-month rental, as he’s set to become a free agent this offseason. He’s hitting .268 with a .354 on-base percentage, six homers, 33 RBIs and an .801 OPS in 67 games this season.
The Cubs have been linked to having interest in Zobrist ever since Joe Maddon was hired as manager last fall. Zobrist played for Maddon in Tampa Bay for nine seasons.