San Francisco Giants: Who Will Play Left Field in 2016?

4 of 7

2B/OF Ben Zobrist

Oct 31, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Kansas City Royals second baseman Ben Zobrist hits a double against the New York Mets in the sixth inning in game four of the World Series at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Zobrist has been a Giants’ favorite for awhile, but the team has come up short the last two years in trying to acquire him from Tampa Bay and Oakland. Both the Rays and A’s were demanding a good return for the highly versatile player — and more than likely, Joe Panik was included in talks to acquire him.

Zobrist is so versatile, he shouldn’t even be listed at a specific position. In 2015, Zobrist helped the Royals on his way to his first World Series title as a player. In the past, he got a taste of postseason success with the Rays, but they were handled easily by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.

More from Golden Gate Sports

With an excellent plate approach, a solid clubhouse voice, and the ability to play different positions, the demand for Zobrist entering free agency for the first time, will be frantic. Now 34 years old, Zobrist’s best days are behind him, but he still has the effectiveness to help a team. Much like he did for Kansas City just this past season.

A high on base percentage and extra base hits are his forte, and he should fit in a Giants lineup where left field is now a need. San Francisco originally tried to acquire him as a second baseman. But Panik has developed into a solid player,  and the need for Zobrist no longer was needed. Gaining left field and right field eligibility between the A’s and Royals this season though, Zobrist opened up his game defensively and gave himself some options.

If Zobrist were to come on board now, it would be to an infield that is now set and would likely push him to the outfield. On Panik’s days off though, Zobrist can slide over to second base and the team wouldn’t miss a beat. Now a free agent, Zobrist is that much more intriguing with no prospects attached.

With a batting order that has shuffled numerous times, Bochy can slot Zobrist anywhere in the lineup comfortably without having any repercussions. Zobrist is not an elite defender, but he would not force the Giants to platoon left field.

Would Zobrist want to return to the Bay Area after a short stint with the A’s though? Probably not, given the Zobrist’s are expecting their third child any day now, and the amount of shuffling Zobrist has endured over the past two years. He may want to settle in Kansas City after they just won the World Series.

But then again, we are not the Zobrists and can’t possibly know what they are thinking.

Given the experience and the attraction to veteran players, this is a very reachable acquisition and affordable.

Next: Adam Eaton