The New York Mets made no secret their interest for Ben Zobrist and made him their No. 1 target this offseason.
Ultimately, when all the cards had fallen, Zobrist chose the Chicago Cubs, something Mets assistant GM John Ricco called “disappointing.”
“It's disappointing. I'm going to be honest,” Ricco said to the media, including NJ.com, at the Winter Meetings in Nashville. “He's a guy that we thought fit very well for us, so I will say that. But again, we've been through many situations where you have to adjust and adapt, and that's why you have a plan and have multiple options and don't go all-in on any one of them. So I think we'll be fine.”
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Zobrist reached out to Ricco himself Tuesday night, making him aware that he was going in a different direction.
Ricco maintained that the utilityman's decision was likely not influenced by money.
“I don't think this was about money,” Ricco said. “It was about him finding a place that fit. I think he liked a lot about what we were, and as you mentioned, he has some history with the manager in Chicago, it's a little closer to home for him, so he made that decision. We'll move on.”
Like all teams throughout the offseason, the Mets will have a fallback option — possibly a reunion with Daniel Murphy.
Regardless, the money they had offered Zobrist can now be allocated to different areas of need.