Will a team give up prospects to rentversatility?
Billy Beane gave up catcher John Jaso and minor leaguers Daniel Robertson and Boog Powell to acquire the versatile Zobrist in January. The switch hitter has already played both corner outfield spots and second base in 13 games for the Athletics. Zobrist also has 229 games at shortstop under his belt in his career.
The switch-hitting Zobrist has been an above-average hitter in each of the last four seasons and was an All-Star in both 2009 and 2013. Last season he hit .272/.354/.395 with 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases, getting starts at second base, shortstop and all three outfield spots. It was his sixth straight season with double-digit homers and steals.
MLB Trade Deadline: July 31
MLB Trade Deadline: July 31
However, Zobrist is a free agent after 2015 and as valuable as he can be to the A's, Beane does not like to let guys walk away, so a trade is a possibility, especially if Oakland falls out of contention. As for potential suitors, it could be really any contender with as versatile as Zobrist is, maybe someone who loses an outfielder to injury or wants to shore up a weak second base or shortstop spot offensively.
Doesdefense make him tradeable?
Ian Desmond has won the last three Silver Slugger awards at shortstop in the National League, but like Zobrist he is in the final year of his contract. However, as good as Desmond is with the bad, he struggles defensively, especially early this season in which he has committed eight errors in 16 games.
The Nationals fancy themselves World Series contenders this season and Desmond, who is the only player in baseball with 20 home runs and 20 steals in each of the last three seasons, figures to be a large part of that title chase.
If Desmond continues to struggle with the glove, the Nationals could decide to trade him and go with Yunel Escobar at shortstop until prospect Trea Turner is ready for the majors. The Mets and Mariners are both teams that figure to be in the race that have shortstop needs, so they could be potential landing spots if Desmond is moved.
Health will determine ifis dealt
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters would likely have been extended or the biggest chip on the trade market if he had not undergone Tommy John surgery in June. The three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glover is one of the game's premier catchers when healthy, but is yet to play this season.
Wieters is scheduled to return in May, and could play just long enough to re-establish his trade value by the deadline should Baltimore decide to make that move. He hit at least 20 homers in each season from 2011-2013 and was off to a hot start in 2014 before the injury.
If the Orioles continue to struggle as they have early in the season, Wieters could be a big carrot for them to dangle in front of contenders looking for a catcher. If the Dodgers decide they are unhappy with their Yasmani Grandal/A.J. Ellis combo behind the plate, they have the prospects to pull off a trade for Wieters,