Zack Cozart

The Cincinnati Reds continue to seek trades for their older players. One of them is Zack Cozart, who isn’t very expensive, and shouldn’t be difficult to move, especially to teams with infield problems like the Kansas City Royals, Seattle Mariners and New York Mets.

Cozart, 30, is making $2.9 million this season and has one more arbitration eligible year, making him a very attractive trade target. That, and his ability. He has shaken off the injury issues from last season and is doing incredibly well in 2016, hitting .268 through 68 games, including a .793 OPS, clubbing 11 home runs and 31 RBIs, playing exclusively at shortstop, where he’s done OK defensively. Not especially well, but not bad enough to make teams fear making a move from him.

In a developing trade market, Cozart is likely to be the top shortstop on the trading block. The Reds aren’t aggressively shopping him, only letting teams know he’s available. They won’t move him for any offer teams dangle in their direction, and maybe in the end, holding on to Cozart and even re-signing him isn’t such a bad idea. He’s batting better than ever before, and showing some power which has never really been there in the past.

Teams that look like it’s possible for them to go for him are the Mets, Royals and Mariners

  • The Mets because signing Jose Reyes is pretty much nothing. It doesn’t cost anything, and it’ll likely bring the team nothing. Yes, he’s had some impressive days while playing for the Mets, but Reyes resembled a dead man walking in baseball terms last season, and after missing half of this one due to suspension, it’s unlikely they’ll get the answer they need in terms of backing up David Wright. Adding Cozart while moving Asdrubal Cabrera to third could give them a huge defensive upgrade along with a very good bat
  • The Royals are getting nothing from Alcides Escobar both offensively and on defense. The Royals also have had injuries hurt their second and third base situations, and while Whit Merrifield and Cheslor Cuthbert are doing OK, the Royals need more than just that if another World Series is something they’re gunning for. Cozart can play a number of positions for them, which will likely happen if they do add him, as the Royals tend to mix things like this up, and do well by getting creative
  • Ketel Marte has been a disappointment for the Mariners. His bat is OK, but his defense is subpar, and Cozart will be a big improvement in that aspect. Adding Cozart will give the Mariners the option of moving Marte into a utility guy role, where he might be a bit more helpful, and most importantly, not defensively harmful
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