There is not one thing that Tampa Bay Rays‘ Ben Zobrist cannot do on a baseball field. The two-time All-Star has played well at every infield and outfield position over the course of his career; he is viewed as baseball’s ultra-utility man. But with the Rays currently six games under the .500 mark and trailing three teams in their own division, his name has come up in many trade talks as the deadline approaches.
There is not a single player available who would look better in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform than Zobrist. At the plate, Zobrist’s patient approach and ability to draw walks would be a breath of fresh air in a free-swinging batting order. With an average often hovering around .270, he is able to limit his strikeouts and have an on-base percentage much higher. Often batting at the top of the order, he is a player that is able to hit behind runners and do many of the little things at the plate that the Brewers often fail to do.
In the field, he is a player who can provide above average defense at any and all positions when needed. He would not take all playing time away from any current starters, but instead provide relief and days off when necessary. On a club that lacks depth behind their current starters, the addition of Zobrist would provide instant relief. Players like Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez have battled injuries all season, and the loss of either of them would cause for many moves to be made.
There may be bigger names available at the deadline, like David Price, Jon Lester and Justin Morneau, but Zobrist makes the most sense for Milwaukee. Instead of going out and trying to trade for multiple players to fill needs, the acquisition of Zobrist makes just one move necessary. Finding a good utility player in today’s major leagues is rare. If the Brewers made the move, they would not just have a good utility player on their club, they would have the best.