Angels add Zack Cozart to upgraded infield on a three-year contract
Cozart's coming off a big season as the Reds' shortstop
Cozart, 32, is coming off an All-Star campaign in 2017 in which he hit 24 home runs in 122 games as the Reds' shortstop. For his career, Cozart has batted .254/.305/.411 (92 OPS+) across parts of seven big-league seasons. Last season, though, Cozart spiked with an OPS+ of 141, so the Angels will obviously be hoping he can come close to that figure again in 2018.
According to multiple reports Cozart will play third base for the Angels. That makes sense considering incumbent shortstop Andrelton Simmons is one of the most valuable defenders in the game today. Throw the recently acquired Ian Kinsler into the mix, and the Angels in 2018 will have a significantly improved infield defense. The addition of Cozart also likely allows Luis Valbuena to shift across the diamond and become the primary half of a first base platoon with C.J. Cron.
In matters related, Angels GM Billy Eppler continues to have an impressive winter. In addition to the Cozart signing and the trade for Kinsler, he won the Shohei Ohtani derby, re-upped with Justin Upton, and dealt for reliever Jim Johnson. As such, the Angels and Mike Trout are looking like serious wild-card contenders at this early juncture.
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