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Who are the suitors for Ben Zobrist?

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Kansas City loves the Zobrists, but is it enough to get him to re-sign?

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Royals fan-favorite Ben Zobrist has quickly become one of the most coveted free agents this winter, with reports that he has up to 20 suitors already. It is easy to see why Zobrist is so attractive on the market. He is coming off a very successful post-season and has been one of the more underrated valuable players in baseball the last few seasons. He brings a lot of positional versatility that can help clubs, is available on a shorter-term deal than the premiere free agents, and won't cost teams draft compensation.

Accordingly, the price will not be cheap to land Zobrist. He will get plenty of three-year offers, and it will likely take a four-year offer worth around $12-15 million per season to land the 34-year old switch-hitter.

He would like to play second base, according to reports, although he would receive more interest if he was willing to play all over the field. Let's take a look at who might be interested in his services.

Teams that reportedly have interest

Kansas City Royals

The Royals would love to retain Zobrist's services, as they have long coveted him for his versatility and ability to get on base. The city of Kansas City embraced the Zobrist family with open arms, and the Zobrist family seemed to return the love, naming their newborn daughter "Blaise Royal." Zobrist has said Kansas City is high on his list of teams to sign with, with Ben saying he'd "love to come back." The Royals are reportedly more confident in their abilities to re-sign Zobrist than left-fielder Alex Gordon. If Kansas City made an impact on Ben and his wife Julianna, the Royals may not have to make the best offer, but they will at least have to make a competitive offer. The Royals are probably willing to go three years on a deal for Zobrist, but may be very reluctant to offer that fourth season.

Chances of landing Zobrist: Very High

New York Mets

The Mets have already met with Zobrist's agent and reportedly made Ben their "number one target"this winter. Some have doubts the club can pay top dollar to land him. Despite playing in the largest media market in baseball, the Mets are cash strapped since their owners were defrauded in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. The Mets actually fielded a payroll lower than the Royals last year and only expect a marginal increase next season. The club has an opening at second base with free agent Daniel Murphy expected to be priced out of their market and could use a hitter like Zobrist at the top of their lineup.

Chances of landing Zobrist: High

Washington Nationals

The Nationals are reportedly "in" on Zobrist after a hugely disappointing 2015 season. The club has a number of infielders who can play all over the diamond - Anthony Rendon, Yunel Escobar, Danny Espinosa, and prospect Trea Turner, leaving it unclear how Zobrist would fit in. Most likely he would fill a super-utility role, playing every day but all over the field. Tom Verducci expects the Nationals to be among the "high bidders" on Zobrist, so look for the high-spending Nationals to drive the price up.

Chances of landing Zobrist: Somewhat high

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs have checked in on the Eureka, Illinois native and playing for his former Rays manager, Joe Maddon, may be attractive for Ben. The Cubs reportedly pursued Zobrist at the trade deadline. The Cubs already have Starlin Castro at second base, but have been rumored to be discussing trades to send him out of Chicago. Zobrist would seem to be a Cubs kind of guy, with his high on-base percentage and positional versatility. The Cubs have money to spend and are ready to win, so they could target Zobrist aggressively.

Chances of landing Zobrist; Somewhat high

St. Louis Cardinals

Zobrist grew up two hours north of St. Louis, but with Kolten Wong already entrenched as the starting second baseman in St. Louis, Zobrist would be relegated to a utility role. The Cardinals have reached out to Zobrist, trying to sell him on the role by promising him playing time and a chance to contend for championships on an annual basis. However, they envision a role where he would get less than everyday playing time, more like 400 at-bats a season. Despite having the self-proclaimed "Best Fans in Baseball", its unlikely that will be enough for Zobrist, who will have teams lining up to give him everyday playing time.

Chances of landing Zobrist: Low

San Francisco Giants

The Giants have checked in on Zobrist, even though they already have a young, All-Star caliber second baseman in Joe Panik. They have had trade discussions about swapping him for pitcher Shelby Miller which could open up a starting spot for Zobrist. If Panik stays in San Francisco, Zobrist would serve more in a utility role, spelling Panik and filling in the outfield as needed. Zobrist may balk at the idea of playing on the West Coast, far from his Nashville home.

Chances of landing Zobrist: Low

Atlanta Braves

The Braves seem to be in complete sell-mode, although Ken Rosenthal reports they are interested in Zobrist as a mentor for young players as they open up a new ballpark in 2017. The Braves could definitely use a player like Zobrist as they have a hole at second base...and nearly every other position on the field. That's why it would be hard to see Zobrist taking a chance on a team that will almost certainly finish with among the worst records in baseball next year. But money talks, and Atlanta is the shortest flight from Ben's home in Nashville, so you never know. More likely though, this is just a chance for Atlanta management to say "see, we're trying! We're not tanking on purpose!"

Chances of landing Zobrist: Very low

Other teams that could use as a second baseman

New York Yankees

The Yankees rejected a trade for Zobrist last summer, much to the benefit of the Royals. They instead went with a combination of Dustin Ackley and rookie Rob Refsnyder down the stretch. While Refsnyder has some upside, he is unproven and the Yankees typically have little patience for players to figure things out. However the Yankees are looking to cut payroll, and are reportedly unwilling to meet the kind of contractual offers Zobrist is expected to receive.

Chances of landing Zobrist: Fairly low

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels had former Royals second baseman Johnny Giavotella as their starter, and while he was serviceable, they could certainly use an upgrade. The Halos were fourth-worst in the American League in OPS from their second basemen last season. The Angels don't have a ton of contract commitments to their roster the next few seasons and could afford to hand out a few big contract this winter. Despite an apparent need, the Angels have reportedly not been interested in Zobrist thus far.

Chances of landing Zobrist: Fairly low

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox had the lowest production from the second base position in all of the American League and have holes to fill all over the field. They went on a spending splurge last winter, so signing Zobrist could take them even closer to contention. However they do have a young second baseman in Micah Johnson who could take over, and the spending last winter was a dud, as the team finished with 86 losses. The White Sox were a terrible defensive club last year and Zobrist would not help in that respect.

Chance of landing Zobrist: Low

Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers GM Andrew Friedman acquired Zobrist as a minor leaguer when he ran the Rays and Zobrist would fit perfectly in the Dodgers team philosophy. Last year's second baseman Howie Kendrick is a free agent, and the team has moved young potential second basemen Enrique Hernandez and Alexander Guerrero to the outfield. The Dodgers have spent like drunken sailors the last few winters, but will reportedly look to cut payroll this winter. Accordingly, they have not shown any interest in Zobrist this winter.

Chances of landing Zobrist: Low