A report Sunday night says the Mets are willing to offer Ben Zobrist a four-year contract, which means they might have a real shot at signing him. That is not necessarily a good thing.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports writes (well, tweets) that the Mets are among at least four teams which would give Zobrist a fourth year. He is expected to command upwards of $15 million per year.
That is a lot of years for a 34-year-old player. And that is a lot of money for a player who is good, but, as I have written before, is not really a difference-maker. That is what the Mets need.
Yes, the also need help at second, third and short, all positions Zobrist can play. But Zobrist would likely become the second highest player on the team; for that kind of money, the Mets need someone who can carry the team on his back if necessary. Does anyone think Ben Zobrist can really do that?
And does anyone think Zobrist will still be an effective player when he is 38? Around that time, the Mets will need that money to sign one or more of their young pitchers. Expect a fan revolt if the Mets cannot afford to sign one of them because of the Zobrist contract.
I could see Zobrist coming to New York if all of the offers are similar. After all, the Mets just made it to the World Series, and Zobrist saw first hand how electric the Mets starters are. Who wouldn’t want to ride those coattails for the next few seasons.
We should know Ben Zobrist’s decision by the end of this week’s Winter Meetings. Here’s hoping the Mets do not have to schedule that news conference.