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?
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.