Cozart never seemed particularly likely to see the field with the Giants, who have veterans Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford locked in on the left side of the diamond and promising young Mauricio Dubon likely ticketed for regular reps at second base. San Francisco’s acquisition of the veteran Cozart, rather, was a pure means of buying 2019 first-round pick Will Wilson from the Angels. The Halos, eager to move the remaining $12.167MM on Cozart’s three-year contract, sent Wilson to the Giants as the Giants picked up the remaining tab on Cozart.
Cozart’s 2016-17 run with the Reds was excellent, albeit injury shortened, but his health troubles have escalated to new heights since signing with the Angels on a three-year, $38MM deal. While some missed time was always going to be likely given his track record, there was little reason to predict that he’d be limited to just 96 games over the first two seasons of the deal. Moreover, the .190/.261/.296 slash he posted in 360 plate appearances with the Halos registers as a shock, given his prior productivity in Cincinnati. Injuries have surely sapped some of his ability at the dish, but a decline of this magnitude was nonetheless difficult to foresee.
Once Cozart clears release waivers (a 48-hour process), he’ll become a free agent who can sign with any club for the prorated league minimum for any time spent in the big leagues. That sum would be subtracted from the $12.167MM the Giants are paying him next year, but the San Francisco organization will remain on the hook for the vast majority of Cozart’s contract.