Ben Zobrist would give Giants veteran presence, leadership

Giants target Ben Zobrist. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Giants target Ben Zobrist. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

Farhan Zaidi may want the San Francisco Giants to get younger, but Ben Zobrist would add a veteran presence and quality depth.

Team president Farhan Zaidi made it clear when he took control of the San Francisco Giants front office that he wanted the team to get younger.

With that in mind, would it make sense at all to bring in 38-year-old Ben Zobrist?

It just might!

The youth movement is very understandable. With an aging core of Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria, and Brandon Belt, the team needs to start planning for the future by developing the next crop of young players who will take their place.

However, in a rebuilding year like 2020 is expected to be, it would not hurt to add a veteran presence who could also provide some depth in the infield and the outfield.

Zobrist has long been known as one of the most versatile players in the game. He can play second base, shortstop, and the corner outfield positions, which is perfectly in line with Zaidi’s love of versatility.

But what has made him so reliable for so long is his bat.

In his last four seasons with the Chicago Cubs, he has put up a respectable batting average every year except for 2017 when he hit .232.

He was solid overall last season when he was on the field, though he missed a decent amount of time to deal with a family matter. In 176 plate appearances, he hit .260 with a .358 on-base percentage and nearly as many walks (23) as strikeouts (24). Those numbers don’t jump off the page, but he still brings value as a veteran presence and as role player.

Signing him to a one-year deal to help mentor Mauricio Dubon would make sense and would not endanger the rebuild in any way, shape, or form.

If he struggles, there’s no commitment beyond the 2020 season, and if he performs well he could be a useful trade chip at the deadline.

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All things considered, Zobrist is a low-risk, high-reward option that would provide a veteran presence and added versatility to the Giants bench. The focus may be on getting younger, but this exception would make sense.