The Giants' needs and the available players align almost perfectly. They have money to spend. They're going to be in the middle of every rumor, and there's room for them to spend. The current scuttlebutt involves a very expensive 35-year-old. If you're interested in the Winter Meetings, you're interested in the million Ben Zobrist rumors the Giants will be involved in this week.
Zobrist is a switch-hitter without any platoon splits. He'll also be 35, and he's looking for a four-year deal. He plays multiple positions. He'll also be 35, and he's looking for a four-year deal. He's an excellent hitter, and he's been one of baseball's best players over the last seven years. He'll also be 35, and he's looking for a four-year deal. You can see the Giants' dilemma.
Also, Zobrist will be 35, and he's looking for a four-year deal. Also, he's good.
Folks bringing up Marco Scutaro are right to do so, except that if the Giants had signed him for four years before his age-35 season, they would have received three solid seasons from him. That wouldn't have been a cautionary tale; it would have been a good thing. That's before you remember that Zobrist is much, much better and more versatile.
Really, the Giants should be focused on 2016 about 500 times more than 2019, considering the young, productive core they have right now. The Giants could be missing one final piece that they can't get because of Zobrist's salary in 2019, sure, but we don't even know if they'll be contending then, much less so strapped for cash that Zobrist ruins their offseason. What we know is that the Giants need a left fielder in 2016, and he fits in rather well.
If you're nervous about Joe Panik's back, Andrew Baggarly held a chat on Friday that might calm you down. He described Panik's back injury as an unmysterious ailment that rest and rehab should fix, which lessens the urgency of Zobrist as an infielder in a glass case. Still, he would allow the Giants to avoid grinding Panik into dust as he recovers.
What would a lineup look like with Zobrist? Deep.
Pagan - CF
Panik - 2B
Duffy - 3B
Posey - C
Pence - RF
Belt - 1B
Zobrist - LF
Crawford - SS
It's kind of a drag that the worst hitter in the lineup is at the top, but I'm plugging my ears and pretending that Pagan's post-DL resurgence is for real. I mean, .274/.346/.416 isn't that much of a resurgence, but it would still help the Giants win a lot more than what he was contributing last year.
Regardless, look at that lineup up there, and forget about the fourth year. For now. Zobrist would help. He makes sense. He's already met with the team, and the Giants are going to be in on him all week. Welcome to the Winter Meetings. This is not your last Ben Zobrist rumor.