Oakland A's: Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar are "on the verge" of being acquired by the Oakland A's from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to Susan Slusser
The A's have seemingly been in sell mode much of the offseason, despite having signed Billy Butler to a three year deal to be their new DH. However, Zobrist and Escobar are players in their 30s, and Zobrist is a free agent after this season, while Escobar is under contract through 2016 with a 2017 option.
Slusser says Escobar would be the A's shortstop, Zobrist would play second base, and Marcus Simien, acquired from the Jays in the Josh Donaldson deal, would become a Zobrist-esque "super utility player." Brett Lawrie is slated to be the team's third baseman.
No word yet on what the A's are giving up, but it would seem to have to be something pretty significant, given the Rays' asking price for Zobrist alone in recent days.
UPDATE -- Catcher John Jaso is going to Tampa in this deal, as well as two minor leaguers, per Slusser.
UPDATE II -- Daniel Robertson, the top prospect in Oakland's system in the Baseball America rankings, is one of the minor leaguers going to Tampa in this deal, per reports on Twitter.
UPDATE III -- Boog Powell is the third player going from Oakland to Tampa in this deal. Yes, there is a current minor leaguer named "Boog Powell."