Kansas City Royals General Manager Dayton Moore has declared his stance. His team is all in on a second half playoff push. It is easy to declare yourself a buyer. It is another thing to prove that with action.
Cozart just appeared in the All Star Game in Miami this past week. By doing so he earned himself a donkey from his Reds teammate Joey Votto. While stepping up your livestock game is cool, there are better reasons why Cozart should be the Royals top target this trade deadline.
Offensively Cozart would be quite the improvement over incumbent Alcides Escobar. Cozart is slashing .311/.389/.538 with 9 HRs and 35 RBIs. Esky currently sports a .226/.243/.315 line with 3 HRs and 29 RBIs. Esky can’t even claim a speed advantage as both players have two stolen bases on the season.
I know comparing the production at the plate does not prove much. There is a reason Esky is batting in the eight hole and Cozart was an All-Star. So what about the defensive game? After all Alcides is a Gold Glover!
So far this season Cozart owns a .974 fielding percentage with seven errors in 266 chances. Comparatively Esky has a .979 fielding percentage with eight errors in 379 chances. Yes technically Alcides has the edge, but not by a wide enough gap to change the fact that having Cozart in Kansas City would be a huge upgrade.
Then there is also the contract. Word on the street is that GMDM is looking at rental players rather than long term roster additions. Not only does Cozart fit that description, he also is very affordable with a $5.33M salary for 2017.
While the Reds are not going to simply give away Cozart, he is also not going to have a price tag that other potential players will. Giancarlo Stanton and Manny Machado he is not. That plays into the Royals favor even if it is ever so slightly.
There is not a lot in the proverbial coin purse for Moore to go on a shopping spree. Still acquiring Zack Cozart would show that the team is determined to challenge Cleveland for the American League Central crown. It would be a move that would bolster an offense that has gone stale at times in the first half. At the same time the defense would not be taking much of a blow.
What do you think Royals fans? Would you like to see Zack Cozart on the roster? What are you willing to give up to do so? Let your voice be heard in the comments below.