Report: Yankees Unlikely To Pursue Zobrist

Looks like I didn't miss too much over the weekend.  The one new rumor with some juice that came out last night comes to us courtesy of The Post and concerns both the Yankees and the Mets and their respective plans to pursue Ben Zobrist this offseason. Via Dan Martin and Ken Davidoff, the Yankees are unlikely to go hard after Zobrist because of his expected price tag.  The exact quote from the report says "the Yankees aren’t willing to spend as much as Zobrist likely will receive", and that the Mets will make "a strong push" for Zobrist to address their multiple roster needs.  That information comes from the always reliable unnamed "industry sources".  They're better than just regular unnamed sources because they're definitely in the industry, you see.

All jokes aside, this report makes sense to me.  The MLBTR projection for Zobrist was 3 years/$51 million, this report mentions 4/$60 mil as a possibility, and I've already said I don't see the Yankees going all in on Zobrist for those types of commitments.  They have players in-house who they are seemingly comfortable with handling second base, they've got a crowded outfield, and they have greater needs elsewhere.  Giving a 4-year deal to a 35-year-old also doesn't fit the current roster building plan, even if that 35-year-old is very versatile.

In a vacuum, I'd love to have Zobrist on the team next year.  He would provide flexibility and depth all over the roster and make it easier to move Brett Gardner, who is probably the team's best chance to get more young, cost-controlled MLB players back in a trade.  It's strange to accept money as the reason for the Yankees passing on a player who fits their needs, but that's the new model with ownership.  If they're waiting for more money to come off the books before spending big again, it makes sense that they'd bypass Zobrist and focus their attention elsewhere.