Kansas City Royals

Royals trade two minor-league pitchers for Oakland’s Ben Zobrist

Oakland Ben Zobrist celebrates after hitting a home run against the San Francisco Giants on Friday.
Oakland Ben Zobrist celebrates after hitting a home run against the San Francisco Giants on Friday. AP

Two days after adding ace pitcher Johnny Cueto in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds, the Royals traded for Oakland infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist on Tuesday. In exchange for Zobrist, the Royals traded minor-league pitchers Aaron Brooks and Sean Manaea.

The Royals aren’t stopping their push to return to the World Series.

Two days after adding ace pitcher Johnny Cueto in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds, the Royals traded for Oakland infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist on Tuesday.

In exchange for Zobrist, a 34-year-old two-time All-Star for Tampa Bay, the Royals traded Brooks, a righty, and Manaea, a lefty. The Royals also recieved cash from Oakland in the deal.

Zobrist, who can plug a variety of holes for the Royals, represents a sizable upgrade at second base over Omar Infante, who has slumped all season long and owns a .551 on-base plus slugging percentage. A switch hitter, Zobrist entered Monday with an .801 OPS, a testament to his on-base skills and his ability to hit doubles (20 in 67 games).

Zobrist can also play both corner outfield positions. He could fill in for Alex Gordon until Gordon returns from the disabled list in September, or replace Alex Rios, if he is unable to sustain his recent surge.

Zobrist missed a month after surgery in late April to repair his left knee. His performance has not lagged since his return, with an .827 OPS in 53 games.

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