UPDATE (9:30 PM ET) -- Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com shuts down the NYDN report, noting that there are no ongoing talks between the clubs on Zobrist. Isn't trade deadline season fun?
ORIGINAL: Trade talks between the Athletics and Mets involving Ben Zobrist are heating up, according to a report from Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. Ackert reports that the Athletics have identified the prospects that they would want in a trade for Zobrist, though nothing is imminent at this time.
The two teams previously discussed a deal centered around right-hander Rafael Montero, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, though Montero has been hurt as of late and it is unclear if his name is involved in current talks. The Mets are reportedly unwilling to discuss top prospects Michael Conforto or Amed Rosario in trade talks, though a recent report from Marc Carig of Newsday lists Brandon Nimmo, Gavin Cecchini, Michael Fulmer, and multiple other lesser prospects as potential trade chips.
One potential obstacle for a deal is that the Mets may be unwilling to pick up the remaining $3 million on Zobrist's contract for this season, as WFAN's Eddie Coleman reported earlier today. An earlier report from ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick included a quote from a rival executive, who criticized New York's trade deadline strategy.
A MLB exec on #Mets: "They want a middle of the order OF bat who isn't going to cost anything -- in terms of dollars or players.''— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 21, 2015
The Mets have been linked to many outfielders on the trade market, including Justin Upton (Padres), Gerardo Parra (Brewers) and Carlos Gomez (Brewers), though they have been willing to overpay in a trade for Zobrist, who appears to be a top target.