We're now just four full days from the end of the MLB trade deadline, and thankfully some major trades have already happened. Billy Beane kicked everything off when he sent Scott Kazmir to the Astros, but the biggest deal thus far took place yesterday, when the Royals acquired Johnny Cueto. With the market starting to sort itself out, the rumors have become more concrete, and has begun to narrow. However for Ben Zobrist, the opposite is true, and seemingly each day, another team reportedly expresses interest in the super-utility player.
One team that has been in from the beginning, is Kansas City, and that doesn't appear likely to change.
Even with Johnny Cueto on board, don't think KC is done adding. Hearing they're expected to stay in on Ben Zobrist until the end.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) July 27, 2015
The Royals are 59-38, and adding Zobrist would strengthen their chances for another deep October run. Kansas City has a need for an outfielder to replace the production of Alex Gordon, who's likely out until early September, as well someone to potentially step in for full-time duty at second base. Zobrist undoubtedly fits that model, and the Royals will pursue him until they've acquired him, or another team bests their prospect package.
As for the teams that they'll have to compete with, Jon Heyman lists the Pirates, Angels, Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers, Astros, and Cardinals as those that have expressed interest. Heyman notes that even three teams who are believed to be all in on some sort of pitcher (LAD, HOU, and STL), have checked in because of how valuable Zobrist can be. With only four days left before the deadline, Zobrist's time in Oakland is rapidly coming to an end, but it's still anybody's guess as to where he'll wind up.