The Padres are one of the only teams in baseball with a clear need at shortstop, and they appear to be shopping around the potential market. Per Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer, via Twitter, San Diego has “real interest” in free agent Zack Cozart. He’ll surely command a fairly significant contract, though there may also be an opportunity to realize value given the lack of demand at short. The Friars are also looking into Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag tweets. Galvis is projected to earn a healthy $7.4MM in his final season of arbitration eligibility, so he’d likely be available for a reasonable price — so long as the Phils decide it’s time to move on.
More on the market for middle infielders …
- Meanwhile, the Phillies are said to be setting a fairly lofty price tag on second baseman Cesar Hernandez, per Heyman (Twitter link). The 27-year-old switch-hitter has established himself as a quality regular with two consecutive seasons of above-average offensive production and quality glovework. He’s projected to take home $4.7MM this year and is eligible to be tendered contracts for two more seasons. Hernandez is arguably the most valuable of the second basemen that can reasonably be considered plausible trade candidates.
- Athletics second baseman Jed Lowrie is currently penciled into the organization’s everyday lineup, but Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that “it’s increasingly apparent that Lowrie could be on the move sooner rather than later.” The driving force here, it seems, isn’t so much salary — Lowrie’s reasonable $6MM tab still leaves the A’s room to work with — as it is opportunity. Oakland evidently sees a chance to get a strong return on Lowrie while working to improve in the outfield. Since Frankin Barreto could step into Lowrie’s shoes, the team may just be seeing a new and better way to allocate resources. The 33-year-old Lowrie had a strong bounceback season in 2017, turning in 645 plate appearances of .277/.360/.448 hitting.
- All along, Tigers second bagger Ian Kinsler has seemed the likeliest player at his position to move. And it’s possible a deal could come together this week, GM Al Avila tells reporters including MLB.com’s Jason Beck (Twitter link). It’s a “possibility,” but not a certainty, that something will get done, according to Avila.