The Mariners have inquired with the Reds about the availability of shortstop Zack Cozart, according to ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark (via Twitter). Seattle does expect Ketel Marte back from the DL somewhat sooner than had initially been feared, he notes, so it doesn’t appear as if Seattle’s need is all that great.
Of course, it’s certainly arguable that the M’s would be wise to pursue an improvement over Marte regardless, as he hasn’t been terribly productive. Though the youngster remains an important future piece, the veteran Cozart has been swinging a better stick and is a top-notch defender.
It’s still unclear whether the Mariners will be willing to part with prospects in order to upgrade in 2016. The team is just two games over .500, and while it doesn’t seem inclined to sell, it may also not go too far in the other direction.
Cozart is controllable for another year, though, so he’d at least have future function — though that’ll also increase the asking price. Stark also suggests that the Mariners are still interested in Jay Bruce, another player with an added season of control, which is contrary to other recent reports.