According to recent reports, the Rays may be looking to move Ben Zobrist now that they have signed Asdrubal Cabrera. Although it is somewhat unlikely that the Yankees and Rays would trade amongst themselves, stranger things have happened. If Zobrist is available, should the Yankees look into trading for him?
Possibly the worst part about trading Martin Prado to the Marlins is that the Yankees lost a player who could backup multiple positions. The current infield and outfield backup situation is not exactly ideal. There's Brendan Ryan to back up at shortstop, Alex Rodriguez to backup at third base, Chris Young to backup right field. Garrett Jones can backup first base and the outfield. The Yankees might intend to have one of Rob Refsnyder or Jose Pirela play backup to whichever of them wins the second base job. This all works at the moment, but injuries to Mark Teixeira and Carlos Beltran would make Young and Jones everyday players. The benefit of adding Ben Zobrist would be that he has experience in every position except for catcher. He could easily backup second base, shortstop, and the entire outfield. Plus, if the Yankees got Zobrist then they could consider dumping Ryan.
Zobrist has been a consistent hitter for the Rays since his first full season in the majors back in 2009, hitting .264/.354/.429 over his career. Last season was no different from the rest, and he finished the season batting .272/.354/.395 with 10 HR, 10 SB, 119 wRC+ and 5.7 fWAR. He will be 34 in May, and is set to make $7.5 million in 2015, before he hits free agency. Zobrist also happens to be a switch-hitter, though he's hit left-handed pitchers slightly better than righties throughout his career (.285/.363/.447 batting right-handed compared to .254/.350/.421 batting left-handed).
Brian Cashman has made a lot of trades this offseason, and the farm is system has improved pretty significantly, so you would have to think that the Yankees have someone that the Rays would be interested in making a trade for. Since Zobrist will be a free agent at the end of 2015, the Yankees would have to make sure that they wouldn't be giving up too much. On the other hand, it isn't terribly likely that the Rays would trade Zobrist to another team within the AL East. The two teams actually have a very limited history of working together. In 2006, they made their one and only transaction to date: The Yankees acquired Nick Green from the Devil Rays for cash considerations. We did just see a Red Sox-Yankees trade in 2014 (the Stephen Drew and Kelly Johnson swap), so a Yankees-Rays trade wouldn't be that far outside the realm of possibility.
Would you be interested in making a trade for Ben Zobrist? Which player(s) do you think the Yankees would need to throw in to get the deal done?