Zack Cozart signs with the Los Angeles Angels

Free agent Zack Cozart has signed a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels. The deal keeps him in an Angels uniform through the 2020 season.  Jon Heyman reports that the deal is worth $38 million over the three years.

Zack Cozart signs with the Los Angeles Angels

Cozart, 31, played in 122 games for the Cincinnati Reds last season. He hit .297/.385/.548 with 24 home runs and 63 RBI in 136 games. Cozart has played solid defense throughout his career and finished 2017 with a .975 fielding percentage and a 4.9 WAR; however, he was not a huge threat on the base paths, ending the year with three stolen bases. Overall, Cozart had a great season last year as he was able to make his first all-star appearance in 2017.

Cozart has played seven seasons in the majors, all of them with Cincinnati. He has hit .254/.305/.411 in his career with 82 home runs, 280 RBI, and 21 stolen bases.

The Reds are currently in a rebuild and decided to not extend Cozart a $17.4 million qualifying offer. Instead, they are looking to test the market for shortstops in free agency. Cincinnati did not extend a QO to Cozart in order to avoid their payroll going over $100 million before the off-season begins. While it’s understandable for the Reds to be concerned about their payroll, Cozart has been a huge help in the Queen City. The Reds have been sellers at the trade deadline for some time and have seen a lot of turnover. It would be nice to sign a player such as Cozart who the Reds can rely on as they continue to rebuild.

The 31-year-old shortstop has made two playoff appearances in his career, the first coming in the 2012 NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, and the other coming in the 2013 wild-card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cozart hit .238/.333/.238 against the Giants in 2012, but only managed to get a walk in the 2013 wild-card game against the Pirates.

It is believed that Cozart will play third base for the Angels, transitioning from his normal position of shortstop.

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