LA Angels free agent preview: Second Base
The Cincinnati Enquirer recently noted that shortstop Zack Cozart did not receive a qualifying offer from the Cincinnati Reds, making him a free agent this offseason.
Cozart is a shortstop who can transition to second base. It would be an ideal fit for the Angels. It would be an ideal fit because Cozart’s 2017 campaign was impressive. His OBP sits at .385 while also batting .297. Both of these were career highs for him.
Cozart also offers some pop for a shortstop, hitting 24 home runs and slugging .548. Since he will be converting from short to second, his defense shouldn’t miss a beat and playing with Simmons, could actually improve.
Furthermore Cozart can be a cheaper option for the Angels. Cozart’s salary for 2017 was $5,325,000 which seems like a bargain. Of course, that number will double or even triple considering how desperate teams are. MLB.com predicts his salary can be similar to Baltimore’s J.J. Hardy’s salary, 3yr / $40 million.
Then again, Cozart’s 2017 season was his best season as a pro and he could come back down to earth. His career average OBP is only .305, his career batting average at .254. An impressive 2017 season may be just enough to have teams drooling for him.
Like Walker, Cozart’s health is also a concern. He’s 32 and played in 122 games for 2017. In 2016, only 121 games and for 2015, just 53. Health is a concern.
Cozart is a solid player with an amazing 2017 season, is that enough to have the Angels interested?