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Yankees potential trade target: Ben Zobrist

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the All-Star break, it's incredibly difficult to come up with a player that the Yankees both need and will actually have the room for. Now that Rob Refsnyder is in the Bronx, Jacoby Ellsbury and Andrew Miller are off the disabled list, and CC Sabathia is staying in the rotation, there's no easy way to see the team adding any significant contributors. However, when someone like Ben Zobrist is available, you have to take a shot on him because the roster can then easily form around his versatility.

Zobrist can play every position on the baseball diamond other than catcher, so you can use him as your backup infielder in order to give the starters a rest. As a switch-hitter, you can have him hit lefties at shortstop to give Didi Gregorius a day off and hit righties in right field in place of Chris Young. Sure, Carlos Beltran will eventually return, but Zobrist's versatility will make him an asset somewhere else on the field. Maybe they end up needing to platoon him with Refsnyder, but who knows. There might not be a wide open hole in the roster, but he could be useful enough to strengthen it.

After a poor beginning to the season where Zobrist hit .240/.304/.400 over the month of April, he went on the disabled list with a knee injury and missed most of May. Since returning, the 34-year-old has hit a much more respectable .262/.356/.436 and is an above-average hitter against both lefties and righties. Drew, on the other hand, has hit only .188/.262/.427 in the time since Zobrist has returned to the majors. Bringing in Zobrist would mean the end of Stephen Drew's time on the Yankees. He's already been riding the bench behind Refsnyder, so as long as Chris Young and Garrett Jones remain in New York, Drew will be the one who is displaced by a Zobrist acquisition.

The Yankees would have to take on a bit more salary from the Athletics, as Zobrist will be owed the pro-rated portion of $7.5 million, while Drew will only cost $5 million. He would also require a hefty prospect package to get Billy Beane to deal one of his prized trade pieces to the Yankees, but in the end it might be worth it. Zobrist could represent the perfect piece that the Yankees can slip into their lineup without someone needing to get seriously hurt or traded first. You might say they will be paying too much for an incremental upgrade, but that upgrade, no matter how small it might end up being, could mean the difference between a playoff berth and a trip home.