Royals Rumors: Ben Zobrist Update, Rival Emerges As Free Agency Contender

Free agent utility man Ben Zobrist has shown interest in returning to the Kansas City Royals this offseason, but there's as many as 20 teams currently vying for his services.

According to sources cited Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the St. Louis Cardinals have contacted Zobrist to express interest. The Cards have emerged as one of the most interested teams in the Zobrist chase, prizing his versatility as an infield/outfield defensive fit.

Traded to Kansas City from the Oakland A's on July 28th, Zobrist slotted nicely into Kansas City's lineup both as a temporary replacement for then-injured LF Alex Gordon and as a plug-and-play option when Gordon returned. He hit .276 with 13 home runs and 56 RBI between the A's and Royals last season. Gordon also posted a very solid .359 on-base percentage and .816 OPS in split duty.

The Royals remain "privately optimistic" about their prospects of retaining Zobrist. If they decide that they've been priced out in negotations surrounding Alex Gordon, expect Royals GM Dayton Moore to go strong after the 34-year-old veteran.

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Related Topics: MLB Free Agency Rumors, Ben Zobrist, Royals News, Kansas City Royals, Royals Rumors, MLB Free Agency News