Cincinnati Reds Rumors – Zack Cozart may start second half on West Coast

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Reds may not have taken any calls on shortstop Zack Cozart, but a trade appears in the works.

The Cincinnati Reds have claimed that they are not taking calls on Zack Cozart yet.  That may be true.  That they have so many other teams claiming to have called on Scooter Gennett makes one think.

Several teams have admitted to calling on Gennett, but that doesn’t make sense.  The Reds are not looking to trade Gennett.  Depending on the development of Dilson Herrera and Jose Peraza, Gennett could be the Reds’ Opening Day starter at second base next year.

What the teams are likely doing is getting a bead on what players the Reds are interested in acquiring.  The Reds can take a call on Gennett and talk with teams about what they are looking for.  The Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, and Washington Nationals have all either implicitly or explicitly  admitted to speaking to the Reds.

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Then again, the Reds have fielded calls on their bullpen for much of the first half.  The Twins are looking for pitching.  They have young position players that they like.

The Dodgers and Nationals are both looking for pitching.  That isn’t to say that either team wouldn’t upgrade their middle infield given the chance.  It is just that they are not looking.

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That leaves one team that the Cincinnati Reds have been linked to that is looking for a middle infielder.

The Indians have been looking for a back-up infielder for several weeks.  They looked for someone to back-up Jason Kipnis at second and get some down time for shortstop Francisco Lindor and third baseman Joe Ramirez.  Now Kipnis is on the DL with a hamstring injury.

That raises the interest in Zack Cozart to an extremely high level.  Letting him bat lead-off or ninth in the Indians’ line-up could make all of the difference.  With Kipnis getting on base at less than a .300 clip this season, the Indians need the help.

Cozart has shown his ability to play other infield positions thanks to the Reds’ use of the shift.  Cozart has spent more than 10% of his time playing on the first base side of second base this season.  He has also played in the hole at short more times this season than in the past few years.

Next: Reds work hard to get better on defense

The Indians and Reds have been talking.  Whether it has been about Gennett or Drew Storen, it appears that is changing now.  Cozart will likely be opening his second half of the season in Oakland playing second base for the Indians.