Last week, New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson informed reporters assembled for the press conference called to announce Steven Matz's call up that he was "prepared to overpay" for a hitter in the trade market this season but added, "there has to be something to overpay for."
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Ben Zobrist is the player Alderson had in mind. He writes, "Alderson had expressed his interest to Oakland officials about Zobrist, but has seen the switch-hitter, at least temporarily, pulled from the market."
Zobrist was previously connected to talks with the Mets in the New York Daily News on June 24:
Sources on both sides say the two teams have talked about Zobrist, who can be a free agent after the season, but there is no indication they're close to making a trade.
It won't take Noah Syndergaard or Steven Matz to get Zobrist, but it probably will take a couple of good prospects, especially since other teams will have interest moving closer to the trade deadline.
A recent surge in Zobrist's performance has brought his season batting line to .266/.360/.456, in line and even exceeding his career totals of .264/.354/.430. After missing 29 games on the disabled list, Zobrist is .277/.383/.479 in his last 35 games, including four home runs in 141 plate appearances.
Whether the A's sell or not continues to be dominated by discussion of whether their recent improvement, including winning 12 of their last 18, will continue and lead to a fourth consecutive trip to the postseason. For now, it appears the A's will continue to wait and see.