New York Yankees shortstop (and former Cincinnati Red) Didi Gregorius is out for 6-8 weeks with a shoulder strain. In the wake of that injury, the Yanks are trying to decide whether to pursue an option outside the organization to pick up the slack until Gregorius returns.

Enter Zack Cozart, according to this report:

While the Yankees have been weighing internal options to replace injured shortstop Didi Gregorius, they have also given consideration to external possibilities.

The Tigers’ Jose Iglesias, the Reds’ Zack Cozart and the Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed each have been floated as potential targets, a source with knowledge of the team’s personnel discussions told NJ Advance Media.

In some ways, Cozart makes sense if New York decides to look for outside options to fill the shortstop hole. The Yankees’ top prospect is a young man named Gleyber Torres who just so happens to play shortstop, but he’s not ready for the big leagues yet. (Torres, you may remember, was acquired by New York from the Chicago Cubs in last year’s Aroldis Chapman trade.). Cozart could be seen as a good short-term solution, perhaps moreso than any of the other potential candidates mentioned above.

Certainly, Cozart is a better player than any of the Yankee’s in-house shortstops. There’s a pretty good argument to be made that he’s better than Iglesias or Ahmed, too.

There’s a complication, however. As it turns out, the Reds need a shortstop too. Here’s what Wick Terrell said over at Red Reporter about this:

The Cincinnati Reds entered the winter with a logjam in their middle infield, what with Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera making up the future-is-now duo while Cozart and Brandon Phillips stood entrenched in their way. With the overall shorstop market in complete stasis and Phillips rejecting all trades, just a few months ago we all grew frustrated by the team’s inability to move players and turn the page.

Then the Reds managed to dump Phillips to the Atlanta Braves for essentially nothing, and since that time we’ve barely seen Dilson Herrera, as a shoulder injury has kept him from playing the field at all during Cactus League play. In other words, just as an injury finally opened up the market for Cozart to be tradeable again, the Reds now find themselves in a bit of a pickle, since trading him would leave perhaps too large of a hole in the team’s middle infield for even a team at this stage of rebuilding. Would Arismendy Alcantara get the nod as the everyday shortstop? Would Peraza move back to short after finally settling in at 2B? Would the team really turn things over to Zach Vincej despite him not having played at all in AAA? Would they move Suarez back to SS full-time and turn things over at 3B to, I don’t know, Hernan Iribarren?

Go read the rest of Terrell’s piece.

I dunno, it’s probably much ado about nothing. There are no reports that the Yankees have actually made any offers, or that any discussions have been had with Reds management. But it’s worth keeping an eye on.

18 Responses

  1. Chris deLambert

    Move Suarez back to the middle infield – where he belongs. Peraza plays whichever spot isn’t occupied by Suarez. Duvall back to 3B – his natural position.

    That leaves a spot open in LF, where the Reds have half a dozen viable options.

    • The Duke

      Duvall was a butcher at 3B, there is a reason he got moved off and it wasn’t to make room for his bat.

      If the Reds are serious about Peraza as a long term SS, or for at least the next few years, then trading Cozart means putting Peraza at SS. In the short term use whatever stop gap you need to until Herrera’s shoulder is ok, and then plug him in at 2B every day.

  2. The Duke

    Agreed, you don’t just dump him like we did with Phillips. A guy in their system I like that I’d target would be Chance Adams. Adams and a high upside kid in the low minors (Estevan Florial, Wilkerman Garcia, etc…) would be a tremendous return for Cozart. Or maybe someone with a higher floor as a second piece like Nick Solak, whom I liked coming out of Louisville last year as a second piece.

    • David

      Phillips had age, a heavy contract and the 5-10 year rule working against getting much value back. Zach is 5 years younger than Brandon and has a much smaller contract.
      Zach is personally a great guy (as was Brandon), but the concern is the team and moving forward. If Zach is not the starting shortstop for the next playoff level team, then he should be traded.

      • Carl Sayre

        I struggle with a statement of what should happen without a clue what was being offered in return! I mean should the Reds make another idiotic trade like they did with BP? I know BP needed to go but to essentially pay him to play for someone else and get a career (about 2 more years) AA player in exchange! I still haven’t been able to wrap my head around the idea of paying 14 million dollars to buy Peraza playing time in our organization! I really can’t get behind trading Cozart just for the sake of trading him!

  3. sezwhom

    Trade him now, trade him later. He’s going to go but just get some value in return. We’re going to need it.

    • RedsFaninPitt

      Tyler Wade of Miguel Andujar straight up for Cozart would be great or Mahle + Cozart for Mateo.

  4. Soapboxes

    It’s hard to say we move Duvall over to 3rd after he almost won a gold glove in left last year. Suarez on the other hand might have to move anyway when Senzel is ready so it’s hard to say what the best course of action is. Moving Duvall could open the door for Winker though. Glad I don’t make the decisions and can just stand back and complain about whatever they end up deciding to do.

  5. RedsFaninPitt

    It will take more than Cozart’s one season under contract to get Mateo.

  6. Jim Walker

    The Reds look to be in a situation where they have to weigh whether moving Cozart and getting on with the future or holding on for the absolute maximum possible return for him is most important.

    Cozart has looked good when he has played. However, we’ve not seen him extended in terms of playing full games in multiple consecutive day appearances. If he can play entire games day after day his value will climb. If he can’t, his value will drop.

    My inclination would be to try and drive a hard fair bargain but ultimately off load the remaining risk and get on with the future sooner rather than later.

  7. Carey Keen

    I can’t imagine anything on their end injury wise holding the Reds back from making a trade of Cozart. They are not expected to be highly competitive and there are multiple options to fill the gap until Herrara is healthy.

  8. Chuck Schick

    Ha. I think the 1986 San Diego Chargers had a better defense

  9. Matt

    I feel like us still needing Cozart due to the Herrera injury is almost a good thing. It gives us more leverage and bargaining power. When a team knows you have to move a guy and they’re the only one who needs him, it gives them all the leverage. When it’s clear you can just as easily say “No thanks, we still need a shortstop and would rather keep ours than accept a poor return,” it puts a little bit of the bargaining power back on your side.

  10. Corey Matthew Dillon

    Peraza to SS leaving 2B for Dilson whenever he is ready.

  11. Carl Sayre

    Suarez and defense are 2 words that don’t belong in the same paragraph but I have felt even at SS it was a lack of confidence! He has the arm to play on the left side but he has looked scared to death even on routine plays and finally at the end of last year he finally looked confident in the field IMO! I would hope the Reds allow him to continue to get comfortable at 3rd! I may be wrong but he looked physically capable to play either spot just very very uncomfortable until late last season!