Another potential second base candidate the Chicago White Sox might be interested in could be Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays.
On Dec. 30, the Rays signed second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera to a one-year deal, leaving the opportunity for the Rays to trade Zobrist for the right type of deal.
Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors wrote the following about the potential interest in Zobrist by the White Sox:
"“White Sox: The most aggressive club in the Central this offseason, the ChiSox could deploy Zobrist at second base. They’ve already added Jeff Samardzija, David Robertson, Adam LaRoche and Zach Duke this winter, and Zobrist would fit GM Rick Hahn’s recently stated goals of getting more athletic and improving his team’s defense.”"
Let’s look at the defense of Zobrist. He played games in the field at second base, all three outfield positions and shortstop so he would be a good utility type of player for defense.
Zobrist played 79 games at second base in ’14, starting 74 games for the Rays at the position. In 625 innings at second, Zobrist had a fielding percentage of .980, including being a part of 32 double plays.
He also had 185 assists at second in 296 chances, committing just six errors in those games.
Offensively in ’14, Zobrist batted .272 with 10 home runs, 52 RBIs and led the Rays with a .354 on-base percentage in 570 at-bats.
Sanchez in ’14 played 27 games at second with a .992 fielding percentage, making one error in 122 chances. With Sanchez, the potential is there, so if the White Sox want to groom a player while having the win-now mentality, that is one option.
Beckham played 100 games at second in ’14 for the White Sox, but he was traded at the MLB trade deadline. His fielding percentage was .981, and he is currently a free agent.
Back to Zobrist, I don’t believe the White Sox would have to give up a lot in a trade to obtain the second baseman, and it wouldn’t be a big investment as he has just one year and $7 million left on his current deal.
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If the deal is a good one, I believe this could be a good opportunity for the White Sox, so maybe this is a deal worth looking into. The Rays are at a disadvantage with one too many second basemen, and a player like Zobrist could allow players like Sanchez, Micah Johnson and even Tim Anderson to have another year of work in the minors to groom their overall play before making the full-time jump to the majors.