Nov. 15, 2016
Zack Cozart Trade Options Limited to Seattle Mariners
I’m not sure there is anyone on the trade block with fewer teams interested in him than Cincinnati Reds’ shortstop Zack Cozart. It’s nothing against him specifically. It’s just that all of the good teams already have a man at the position they love and trust. We will still see Cozart shopped around. Most likely he becomes a midseason trade candidate following an injury. In the meantime though, the Seattle Mariners are the only team he could possibly get traded to.
Believe me; I tried to find other teams across the MLB that could use Cozart. Unless he makes himself a utility player, I just don’t see any matches other than the Mariners.
And the most unfortunate part of this for the Reds is that the Mariners can survive without Cozart. Ketel Marte, as limited as he is, can contribute at a cheap price while giving them some speed on the base paths. Plus, Marte is only entering his age 23 season. Allowing him time to grow could pay off.
Because the market isn’t demanding any new shortstops I see Cozart staying put in Cincinnati for now. The Mariners should only acquire him if nearer to the trade deadline they actually require his services. Not to mention, before trading for Cozart, Seattle should make sure he is capable of staying healthy. He has played in only 174 games over the past two seasons due to injuries. His production has been relatively consistent, but nothing to yearn for too badly.
Cozart’s career 82 OPS+ and 97 OPS+ over the past two years when he has been at his best should keep the Mariners and everyone else from overpaying him. I foresee the likeliest scenario outside of the Mariners being a deal where Cozart is added for depth down the stretch. In the meantime though, he’ll have to produce with the Reds at least a little longer.