Cardinals Make Pete Kozma Available In Trades

The Cardinals have made shortstop Pete Kozma available, ESPN New York Adam Rubin reports (Twitter link).  Kozma was St. Louis' regular shortstop last season but gave the Cards only replacement-level production (0.0 fWAR and -0.2 rWAR), which led to the signing of Jhonny Peralta to a four-year, $53MM contract over the winter.

Kozma, who turns 26 in April, hit just .217/.275/.273 with one home run in 448 PA last season and he only produced a .652 OPS in 2752 minor league PA.  While Kozma doesn't provide much pop, he is a strong defensive player, with a +9.9 UZR/150 over 1263 career innings at shortstop.  Moving Kozma would leave the Cardinals somewhat thin at shortstop behind Peralta; infield utiltyman Daniel Descalso only has a handful of career games at short but he could be the top backup option.  The newly-signed Aledmys Diaz is starting at Double-A and is perhaps better suited as a second baseman.

Shortstop has been one of the busiest positions on the rumor mill in recent days, given that the Tigers and Mets have been looking for upgrades, the Diamondbacks shopping Didi Gregorius, Stephen Drew's continued presence on the free agent market and the alleged discord between Jimmy Rollins and the Phillies.  In regards to the Mets, Rubin doesn't think New York is interested in Kozma since he isn't a clear upgrade over incumbent shortstop Ruben Tejada.


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