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.


52 Responses to Cardinals Make Pete Kozma Available In Trades Leave a Reply

  1. BraveCrowe 1 year ago

    So… Uhhhhh… We don’t want him anymore…so he is available for trade… Any takers??

    Anyone?…

    Hello… *echo*

    • Dave 1 year ago

      Well to be fair they DID sign a quality replacement and Kozma has little use as a backup.

      He may still be better than the current starting option defensively for some team out there. He’s just not good enough to be a Cardinal with Peralta on the team and probably deserves a shot at getting on a major league roster rather than sending him to AAA for the rest of his career.

  2. bobbleheadguru 1 year ago

    #DKB (Donnie Kelly Baby, for those who do not know he is not just a name, but a hashtag) had a fWAR of 0.0. The young guys they have can do better than that.

    Not seeing a fit here.

  3. Jimbo504 1 year ago

    first offer for a bag of balls gets him.

    • bryce1344 1 year ago

      Kozma has value. He is one of the top 10 defensive ss in all of baseball. He is the Cards best base runner. In addition he is well liked , cost little and has come up big in clutch situations including the post season. The Tigers aren’t looking for a long term solution and a player like Kozma could give them a short term boost.

      • stl_cards16 1 year ago

        He is one of the top 10 defensive SS only because the Cardinals had him on the 25 man roster. There are dozens of SS all over the minor leagues that can play good defense but can’t hit worth a lick. Kozma really doesn’t have much value at all.

      • ceeza 1 year ago

        Kozma’s defense is overrated.. he has fire hydrant range and can’t go to his left. whatever metric that says his defense is elite is broken. I watch him everyday.. He does have value has a backup I guess( he only can play 1 position so that hurts him) but I’d rather Descalso get those backup reps for the Birds the way he’s hitting this Spring.. Plus it finally looks like we may have some talent in the minors at ss on the way.. We’ve only drafted about a billion SS’s the last 5 years so it’s about time..

        • Drew M 1 year ago

          You must be confusing his range with descalso’s. Kozma has the best range in the Cards organization. And he has a strong arm to go along with it. I cant even count the amount of plays i have seen this spring with someone else playing SS and all ball goes by them and im just thinking “Kozma wouldve had that easily.” He is a plus defender with great range.

          • Jeffy25 1 year ago

            It’s funny because Ryan Jackson is a lot better defensively….and he never got the shot he deserved (last year).

            Kozma isn’t the best defensive shortstop in the cards system, it’s Jackson.

          • ceeza 1 year ago

            too bad we let Jackson go and the Astros claimed him..

          • Drew M 1 year ago

            I agree, I wanted to see what Jackson could do in a longer role. But he started out bad as soon as he came up and never got his chance again, but hes no longer in the organization.

          • ceeza 1 year ago

            look Kozma is solid defensively but eye test tells me Descalso has better range at ss.. his throwing accuracy from ss is the shaky part. arm strength not a problem.. he’s better at 3b and 2b anyway.. he’s out of position a ss but he can spell Peralta adequately and ya know actually get a knock or two from time to time.

          • Drew M 1 year ago

            Descalso has great range at 3b, but average at 2b and SS. but he has a much superior arm (strength wise of course). I could live with Descalsos range, but he just needs to slow down, it looks like he rushes every play, and if he could fix that then he would be a solid SS.

          • ceeza 1 year ago

            had to reheat this to repeat that Descalso has been absolutely raking and nice in the field.. I’ll never understand the Kozma lovers love but won’t matter with him in Memphis or gone soon..

  4. Joe Valenti 1 year ago

    I hope the Mets at least called about him and did their due diligence. Even if he isn’t a clear upgrade, he’s competition AND they don’t have a clear back up for Ruben

    • Jeffy25 1 year ago

      Mets and tigers might make some sense. But his value is just so little.

      Maybe an organizations 30-40th best spec?

  5. Manuel1991 1 year ago

    Kozma for syndergaard make him it happen sandy!

    • Matt Mccarron 1 year ago

      Please stop with this non-sense. Syndergaard could never land a stud like Kozma. You have to include den decker and Wheeler, and maybe. Just maybe we could possibly include Choate.

  6. Jova 1 year ago

    It’s an odd feeling when you know your team isn’t the subject of trade rumors and that won’t change for a long, long, long, long time.

  7. Jeffy25 1 year ago

    Go to tigers?

    Haha, if anyone gives up anything other than cash considerations or a ptbnl, they have issues.

    Kozma is a good dude, but he just shouldn’t be anyone’s everyday shortstop.

    • Drew M 1 year ago

      Honestly, I would rather have Kozma as my starting SS than Peralta. Especially if I was the Cardinals or Tigers. They both have offenses to compensate and he would definitely help the pitching.

      • mojowo11 1 year ago

        Well I am awfully glad you are neither the GM nor the manager of my favorite baseball team, then.

        • Drew M 1 year ago

          There are 3 positions i prefer defense over offense on. (Catcher, Shortstop, and Center field) Im not saying Kozma is my number 1 SS. im just saying i would rather have him there than Peralta. With the GB % their pitchers have i just feel like Peralta will cost us a lot of potential outs.

          • mojowo11 1 year ago

            And I’m saying you look at baseball too black and white. Both defense and offense are on a spectrum. Kozma has a good glove, and if he could hit even a little bit, that’d be enough. But he can’t, he put up the second-worst wRC+ (50) among players with at least 400 PA last season. He is not just a prototypical good-glove bad-bat guy. He’s an offensive black hole. He’s a liability at the plate. He is actively a problem with the bat, not just a ho-hum non-contributor.

            I like defense at up-the-middle positions, too. But even with above-average defense, you can’t hit like a pitcher and start on a major league team. The numbers just don’t work out — at some point you’re giving away enough run-scoring opportunities with the bat that the runs you’re saving with the glove are cancelled out or worse.

            Would you start a defensive legend like Ozzie Smith at shortstop if he was guaranteed to hit .000? Or course not. What about .100/.100/.100? No way. Because on some level you realize that there’s a point at which the bat is too bad to make up for the glove. You’re just incorrectly calibrated about where that tipping point is.

          • Drew M 1 year ago

            I feel like you believe Peralta is going to hit as good as he did last year, which while not unreasonable, his career numbers suggest he will hit between .260-.275. Which will be a huge offensive upgrade over Kozma, he is also a large defensive downgrade. I realize that defensive metrics rated him as an “average fielder”, just watching him so far this spring makes me feel differently. With all of the young pitching the Cardinals have, the more help you can get them, the better.

            For example, lets say Carlos Martinez is pitching, and there is a man on first and second with one out. The batter hits a groundball to the left side of the infield. The difference between Kozma and Peralta could be the difference between an inning ending double play and a run and potential rally.

            But. I really hope i’m wrong, and Peralta does have average SS defense, or he repeats last years performance.

          • mojowo11 1 year ago

            ZiPS projects Peralta to come in roughly halfway between his excellent 2013 and his miserable 2012 — .267/.320/.412 with above average defense. That would have been roughly my guess as well.

            That would be good for a ~2.5-3 win improvement over Kozma, which is worth about $25m-30m for just a single year. He doesn’t have to be a rock star to be a wise investment, he just needs to hold down the position for a year or two at an average level.

      • stl_cards16 1 year ago

        There is a difference between a defense first SS that you can live with in your line-up and a defense only SS. Having your 8-9 hitters be as terrible as the Cardinals were last year is a bad idea. They needed to upgrade SS and not be so dependant on hitting for a high average with RISP.

        • Drew M 1 year ago

          With the Cardinals high ground ball percentage pitchers, I would definitely rather have Kozma then Peralta. Their infield defense is pretty bad at the moment.

          • Jeffy25 1 year ago

            The 6 runs a year that kozma saves over Peralta is way compensated by peralta’s bat

          • Drew M 1 year ago

            I don’t feel like the runs saved stat is very accurate. There are a lot more potential rallies that he has stopped from happening.

          • Jeffy25 1 year ago

            Fangraphs, advanced fielding.

            They keep track of how many balls are hit into a fielders zone, how many they convert Into outs, and how many get away from them.

            6 run isn’t a small amount, but Peralta isn’t that bad defensively, and kozma isn’t that great.

            Kozma is considered a plus defensively, while Peralta is basically average.

            Consider that kozma hits like a pitcher, and Peralta hits like a third basemen…..the bats makes up the value, for sure.

          • smurfmonkey 1 year ago

            He sure did stop that rally in the WS didn’t he! Oh wait…….

      • Danny 1 year ago

        Kozma is incredibly shaky even on defense at times. I’m very happy with Peralta and couldn’t care less where Kozma goes.

  8. Matt Mccarron 1 year ago

    Phillies trade Jimmy Rollins for Pete Kozma. Rollins can play 2B until Wong is nice and ready mid year, then Rollins becomes a bench bat. Kozma backups Galvis and Utley.

    I know it doesn’t make much sense from either side, but work with me. We don’t want Rollins anymore.

    • Triteon 1 year ago

      It only makes sense if we can slap a new coat of paint on Rollins and then flip him. I’d rather have Kozma’s underwhelming performance for 1/20th the cost.

    • Matt Galvin 1 year ago

      No way and would have to happen if the Phillies are out of it.

    • ceeza 1 year ago

      I don’t even understand this … We’ll be just fine with Wong and Ellis at 2b pal.. Wong is finally hitting. plus Descalso is absolutely raking in Spring Training too.. we’re good..

    • SocraticGadfly 1 year ago

      Not.A.Chance. The Phils, if they can’t get value for Rollins in a trade, should call up Cesar Hernandez soon enough they can hold down Rollins’ plate appearances enough to keep his option from vesting.

    • VanHicklestein 1 year ago

      Can someone give me the odds that Wong outhits Rollins every month of this season?

    • Teufelshunde4 1 year ago

      Wong has looked quite good this ST despite a 0-10 start. Been outstanding in the field showing range and arm strength. Barring injury Wong has likely won the starting job already.

  9. jury_rigger 1 year ago

    You realize the Red Sox already have a SS, right?

    • Nathan Boley 1 year ago

      Good thing the Dodgers have Hanley, now Beckett gets to keep his chicken.

    • johnsilver 1 year ago

      Several actually.. The utility guy (Jonathon Herrera) is HOF material compared to Kozma

  10. oleosmirf 1 year ago

    Kozma for Tejada. Boom!

  11. Vandals Took The Handles 1 year ago

    Perfect for the Tigers to hold the fort until Iggy gets back.

    Solid SS. Far more range than Peralta. Great hands. Seldom boots ball in critical situations.

    He’s gotten a bad rap.

    • stl_cards16 1 year ago

      You didn’t watch Game 1 of the World Series, eh?.

      • Vandals Took The Handles 1 year ago

        I said – “seldom”.

        Didn’t say he was perfect.

        He did quite well defensively in every other playoff game he was in.

  12. Vandals Took The Handles 1 year ago

    Interesting year for SS’as moving around.

    I see Astrubal, Alexi and Rollins all available by the trading deadline. Going to make it hard on Scott to sell Drew – as all of them are cheaper and they too will have no draft pick compensation.

  13. SocraticGadfly 1 year ago

    Diaz may well grade out as an MLB shortstop. It’s not fair to make much of a judgment on him yet, given the amount of rust. Before him, all the Cards had in the higher minors was Greg Garcia.

  14. burnboll 1 year ago

    Kozma’s a decent fit for the Tigers. But Cardinals shouldn’t expect to get massive returns.
    Yankees are also a fit.

  15. TDKnies 1 year ago

    Makes me happy that ITT still occasionally gets used.

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