The Los Angeles Angels are rumored to be interested in free-agent third baseman Anthony Rendon, as well as right-handed starter Gerrit Cole. On Tuesday, the Angels made a trade that's likely to inspire more speculation on those fronts: The Halos sent Zack Cozart and prospect Will Wilson to the San Francisco Giants for cash and a player to be named later, the team announced.
The Angels originally signed Cozart prior to the 2018 season to a three-year deal worth $38 million to be their starting third baseman. His time with the Angels didn't according to plan, however. He was limited by injuries to just 96 games over two seasons, and when he was available he hit all of .190/.261/.296 (53 OPS+). Trading Cozart does save the Angels nearly $13 million for payroll and luxury-tax purposes.
Wilson, the Angels' first-round pick in June, serves as the sin tax on moving Cozart. The Angels had previously tried to use Wilson to land a starting pitcher, league sources told CBS Sports. Here's what we wrote about him during our review of the Angels farm system:
The Angels drafted Will Wilson out of North Carolina State with the 15th pick. Wilson is the rare highly drafted collegiate hitter with far more strikeouts than walks during their time in school, and he's expected to wind up at second base. Still, there are some pluses here, beginning with a big-league-ready swing that enabled him to homer 39 times in college. He could end up as a slugging-over-on-base type -- provided he makes enough contact to make it.
From the Giants' perspective, they essentially bought a solid middle-infield prospect. Give Farhan Zaidi credit for clever maneuvering -- and for leveraging his payroll flexibility in a wise manner.
The Angels, by the way, are scheduled to meet with Scott Boras on Tuesday night. Boras represents both Rendon and Cole.