Cincinnati Reds need to bring back Zack Cozart in 2018

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Reds need Zack Cozart at shortstop to start the 2018 season.

The Cincinnati Reds didn’t trade shortstop Zack Cozart away at the trade deadline.  That was a huge mistake.  The side effect is that they never tested out Jose Peraza over a longhaul.

Peraza lost his starting second base job to waiver wire pick-up Scooter Gennett because he couldn’t hit enough.  Peraza had a couple of chances to establish himself as Cozart’s heir apparent, but missed the boat both times.

At the end of the season the Reds called up minor leagjue Gold Glove winner Zach Vincej.  His defensive skill is without doubt.  His offensive skill set is questionable at the MLB level.

Unless Blake Trahan makes a dramatic jump to the big leagues, that is it in the minors.  Alfredo Rodriguez is nowhere close to being ready offensively.  None of the other options look ready defensively.

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Of course, moving Eugenio Suarez back to short is a hot topic this off-season with top prospect Nick Senzel biding his time before getting a shot at the everyday third base job for the Reds.  That could happen, but it is a drastic idea.  Suarez wasn’t good at short in the past and has finally established himself at third after struggling to find his groove.

The Cincinnati Reds need to turn Zack Cozart back into a positive asset for the team in 2018.

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When the Reds didn’t trade Cozart during the 2017 season, they let an asset spoil.  It’s like a grocery store letting milk go bad or an airline not discounting tickets on a half empty plane.  It doesn’t make sense.

This a chance to correct that error.  Signing Cozart returns the Reds to where they were when the 2017 began.  They will have one of the best short term trade pieces for the middle infield on an affordable contract.

This time, though, they can correct their mistakes of last year.  

They can let Cozart play some second base in spring training.  They can also bat him in the bottom half of the order where other teams would play him.

The Reds just need to get Cozart to come back to them at a reasonable price.  After a career year, Cozart may be looking for a multi-year deal.  The Reds though will be looking for a one-year contract.

Next: The Reds have great odds in 2018

There is such a thing as a sign and trade.  This is a sign to trade.  The Reds need to plan like this to close out the rebuild.