There is a chance that Ben Zobrist will flop. He's 35 next year, and there are enough teams interested in him that he'll get a three- or four-year deal. How much will a 38-year-old Zobrist produce? Maybe a little more than a 38-year-old Marco Scutaro. Maybe.
The reason that he'll be so expensive, though, is because he's rad. Totally rad. Everyone wants a switch-hitter without platoon splits who plays multiple positions. Everyone. But no team makes more sense than the Giants who have a) an opening in left field and b) a second baseman returning from a serious back injury. Look for a team that makes more sense. You might find a tie, but that's it.
So this should be expected, then.
Source: Yankees not among teams to check in on Zobrist at this point. Giants involved, as are the Cubs.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) November 12, 2015
Henry Schulman makes a good point that Zobrist might want something closer to home on the East Coast, but millions and millions of dollars will make a fella do funny things. As usual, I'm required to disclaim that I would not sell one of my daughters for an extra $10 million, because that is illegal and morally repugnant and how dare you. However, I would work on the other side of the country for four years for it. Vox is based in Washington D.C., you know, so I guess the ball is in their court.
As with almost all of these free agents, what they're doing in 2018 probably shouldn't matter as much with the Giants, who have shown an ability to work around deals that crumble at the end. Scutaro has two championship rings, remember, as does Angel Pagan. They provided a little value up front, and now the Giants are paying for it on the back end. That's how big contracts work.
Except I'd guess that Zobrist would provide a lot of value up front for the Giants, allowing them to mix and match all over the infield and outfield, and they wouldn't have to push Joe Panik hard the entire season. Zobrist's defensive numbers took a hit last year, which is either a blip or the beginning of the end, but he's never been wholly reliant on his defense. If you're expecting him to be an eight-win player with exceptional defense, those days are almost certainly gone. But a very, very nice complementary player? For at least a season or two, sure.
Everybody wants him, though. California's income tax, the distance from home, the inability for the Giants to blow everyone out of the water ... it all adds up to an unlikely acquisition. But it's an obvious rumor, though. It's an obvious rumor, and one worth dreaming about.