Oakland A’s go to value town and acquire Ben Zobrist

On November 10th I wrote about how the Rangers should trade for Tampa Bay Rays’ Ben Zobrist; nearly two months later I wrote roughly the same article, based on a Jon Paul Morosi report that Texas were one of a dozen teams checking in on the super-utility man.

Yesterday the A’s got him — along with Yunel Escobar — sending touted prospect Daniel Robertson, catcher John Jason and some dude named Boog Powell to the Rays in return.

And now I’m baseball sad.

Now, first there’s the obvious: I think Ben Zobrist is a great player and, at only $7.5 million owed to him in 2015, was an excessive one-year bargain, and I wanted him to play for the Rangers.

Secondly, the A’s just got better — “a net gain of five or six wins for the major league team with even a conservative forecast,” writes Keith Law (Insider required) — and suddenly the team that looked dead in the water last month looks, well, less dead I guess. It isn’t only that it’s Oakland who got him, it’s that they now have another asset, thus they have more options moving forward.

Basically, if the A’s suck in 2015, Billy Beane can flip Ben Zobrist to the highest contending bidder.

If they’re good they can use him for the duration of the season and, when some team signs him in free agency, Oakland get a draft pick as compensation.

It’s sort of a win-win. At $7.5 million, the A’s aren’t really gambling here; more so just deciding which route they should take to extract the most value. Zobrist is a legitimate addition to a team that’s starting not to look as shitty on paper.

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