It has been a highly productive offseason thus far for the Angels, who re-upped Justin Upton, signed Shohei Ohtani, and most recently dealt for Ian Kinsler — a swap in which the organization benefited from the fact that they were the preferred destination of Kinsler, whose carefully constructed partial no-trade list gave him ample leverage. Indications are that the club is now looking to improve at third base, perhaps leaving Luis Valbuena to function in more of a utility role. Here are the latest rumblings:
- The Halos are considering free agent Zack Cozart as an option at the hot corner, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). Though he’s a shortstop by trade, the market doesn’t admit of many obvious holes at that position. But Cozart isn’t just any shortstop: he’s elite at the position, repeatedly rating as one of the best fielders in baseball. With the legendarily slick-fielding Andrelton Simmons already locked in at short and top-quality Kinsler at second, the Angels could arrange one of the best-defending 4-5-6 trios in recent memory, helping to ameliorate any concerns with utilizing the aging Albert Pujols at first. Better still, Cozart — like the others — has also established a solid ceiling at the plate, though perhaps it’s not quite reasonable to expect the 32-year-old to keep up his .297/.385/.548 output from a breakout 2017 offensive season.
- Trade is also a viable option for Los Angeles, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter) and Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). As has been noted before, the Angels are one of several teams with possible interest in Padres third bagger Chase Headley. Headley and others are more likely to be added, at this point, than is free agent Mike Moustakas, according to Nightengale. “Moose” certainly has more home runs in his bat than the others under consideration and is also a more youthful option, though his contract is expected to reflect that and he remains a questionable performer in the on-base department. There’s nothing imminent on Headley or new teammate Yangervis Solarte, Scott Miller of Bleacher Report notes on Twitter. (Solarte has not emerged as a target of the Halos to this point, it should be noted.)
- It also emerged yesterday that the Angels have interest in Todd Frazier, yet another free agent who could fill the team’s major remaining position-player need. Though it seemed at one point yesterday that the organization was nearing a move at third, it seems there are still several irons in the fire at this point.