The closer the calendar inches towards Major League Baseball's July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, the louder the A's rumors will get. Now, their Bay Area counterpart has joined the party.
Super utility man Ben Zobrist, who will be a free agent after this season, is known to be a popular trade target for the A's to unload. Surprisingly, the Giants are among four teams to be looking at Zobrist, according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
The Giants, as well as the Mets, Nationals, and Yankees are all said to be keeping Zobrist on their radar.
Zobrist, 34, is not having the year that Oakland hoped for. Currently, he is hitting .261/.346/.429 with five home runs and 17 doubles. However, he has one tool that keeps him a hot commodity.
That highly valuable tool is Zobrist's versatility all over the field. In the first half of the season, Zobrist has played 26 games at second base, 25 in left field, and three more in right field with a few games slotted as Oakland's DH.
Though this is a plus for any team, where exactly would Zobrist fit with the Giants?
Second base is locked up for now and presumably in the future. Joe Panik, 24, is on his way to his first All-Star Game appearance after hitting .308/.372/.448 with seven home runs and 21 doubles in the first half of his sophomore campaign.
One Zobrist position down, two to go.
Zobrist's other primary position is left field and when healthy, Nori Aoki has more than exceeded expectations. In 67 games this season, Aoki has hit .317/.383/.385 and has stolen 12 bases as a menace at the top of the lineup.
Then, there's Gregor Blanco. While filling in for Aoki and Angel Pagan admirably well this season, Blanco has been a huge No. 4 outfielder that has shown he's able to jump in the starting lineup. Through 68 games, Blanco is hitting .313/.383/.434 with two home runs and 12 doubles. All three components of his slash line would be a career best.
Two Zobrist positions down, one two go.
The third position that Zobrist has played this year is right field and that spot in San Francisco is simply not changing. Hunter Pence is the heartbeat of the Giants if he's healthy or hurt, and in 22 games -- after playing in all 162 the last two seasons -- Pence has put together a .273/.312/.455 season with three home runs and 20 RBI.
Three Zobrist positions down, none left.
Zobrist has already been labeled as a wanted man by many teams from the A's. How the Giants could get him and where they would play him would certainly be interesting.