In their quest to upgrade their offense, the New York Mets may turn to versatile Athletics veteran Ben Zobrist, according to John Harper of the New York Daily News.
The Mets are currently 36-37, but just 3½ games behind the Nationals in the NL East. New York needs something to right the ship at the moment, as it has lost seven straight games to Toronto, Atlanta and Milwaukee.
Zobrist has the ability to play several positions at which he would be an upgrade for the Mets. He has played mostly left field and second base for Oakland this season, hitting .250/.335/.451 in 41 games. He also has significant experience at shortstop and in right field during his career.
Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy began a rehab assignment with the team's Gulf Coast League affiliate Wednesday in his return from a quadriceps injury. He could move to third base if the team acquires Zobrist, where he would be an upgrade over Eric Campbell and Ruben Tejada, who have been playing at the hot corner for New York in place of David Wright, who is out for the season.
Zobrist would also be an upgrade in left field for the Mets, who are currently playing 36-year-old Michael Cuddyer there. Cuddyer is hitting just .251/.305/.377 in his first season as a Met with six home runs in 67 games. He is also a defensive liability in Citi Field's spacious outfield.
There have been rumors circulating about the Mets making a trade to make room in their starting rotation for prospect Steven Matz, though Zobrist is in Oakland's starting lineup against Texas today. Matz would add to an already-strong New York starting staff that includes fellow young arms Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard.
That rotation could be the anchor for a strong run from the Mets in the second half of the season, but it will likely take Zobrist, or another offensive upgrade, to make them a true threat in the NL East.