Zack Cozart Rumors
Reds GM Walt Jocketty spoke to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer about some of the free agent names connected to his club this winter...
- The Reds' first priority is trying to find a leadoff hitter, though Jocketty said that Michael Bourn is too expensive for his club and the same could be true about Angel Pagan. Jocketty said that the team hasn't contacted Pagan yet and "not that we wouldn’t but I wonder about the money.”
- Jocketty confirmed that the Reds have talked to Jonathan Broxton and Ryan Madson about returning to Cincinnati, while the team has also spoke to free agent Joakim Soria. Broxton is the only one of the trio who would be able to pitch on Opening Day, as Madson and Soria are both recovering from Tommy John surgery. The Reds are likely one of the eight contenders who Soria's agent, Oscar Suarez, says has shown interest in his client.
- The Reds talked to Torii Hunter's agent "but the money was too much," Jocketty said. The general manager doubted that Hunter's two-year, $26MM contract with the Tigers would impact Ryan Ludwick's price since "they're different kind(s) of players." The Reds have had "preliminary" talks with Ludwick about a new deal.
- Jocketty told FOX Sports' Jon Paul Morosi last week that the Reds could deal one of their shortstops (Zack Cozart and Didi Gregorius) if the right deal came along, but Jocketty said that neither player is being shopped. "We’re not taking offers,” Jocketty said. “That gets out and then we have to call Cozart and call Didi.”
- The Reds have no plans to extend Jay Bruce's contract. "We control him for five more years,” Jocketty said. “It’s so far off. It’s something we haven’t talked about.” Matt Sosnick, Bruce's agent, raised the possibility of an extension beyond 2016 for his client earlier today.
Reds GM Walt Jocketty tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Cincinnati could move one of their young shortstops (Zack Cozart or Didi Gregorius) if such a deal could bring the Reds a closer or a leadoff-hitting outfielder.
“It depends if we get back what we need,” Jocketty said. “If we don’t, then I won’t mind holding onto them.”
Cozart was the Reds' everyday shortstop in 2012, hitting .246/.288/.399 in an even 600 plate appearances and showing above-average glovework (a +9.0 UZR/150) in his first full Major League season. The 27-year-old Cozart was ranked as the 75th-best prospect in the game by Baseball America before the season, though he may have already been replaced by a newer model, as Jocketty considers the 22-year-old Gregorius to be "an everyday player...It’s just a question of when and how we manage it." Gregorius, a native of Amsterdam, has a .699 OPS in five minor league seasons.
If this surplus of controllable young shortstops wasn't enough, the Reds also have stolen base king Billy Hamilton, who Morosi notes was converted to center field last year. While Hamilton would command a much larger return in a trade than Cozart or Gregorius, I'd imagine Hamilton is next to untouchable.
The Reds are known to be looking for a leadoff hitter and an outfielder (preferably a player who can fill both roles), as well as closing depth in case the team moves Aroldis Chapman to the rotation. Morosi suggests the A's as a trade partner since they have both Coco Crisp and several good relievers, and also notes that the Reds could find a leadoff-hitting outfielder from shortstop-needy teams like the Twins or Diamondbacks.