Conventional wisdom suggests the Toronto Blue Jays could pursue help at second base or left field if they’re buyers at the July 31 trade deadline.
Dave Cameron, the managing editor of FanGraphs, shared another idea on At the Letters. If the second base market doesn’t look that great, why not pursue Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart and make the pieces fit?
“If you look at it and say, ‘I can go get a bad second baseman or I can get a good shortstop and move him over and then really improve my defence,’ maybe you make a play,” Cameron told Ben Nicholson-Smith Wednesday. “(You) say, ‘Look, there’s no logical buyer for Zack Cozart. The market’s not going to be there. He’s not going to cost as much as you’d think for a good defensive shortstop who’s having this kind of offensive season should cost. Let’s maybe think outside the box a little bit.’”
Cozart appears to be well on his way to earning his first career All-Star berth at age 31. He has nine home runs and a .320/.404/.562 batting line in 58 games, but he’s a free agent after the season, so the rebuilding Reds will have to consider trading him for future pieces.
Cozart has spent his entire career at shortstop, but Cameron suggested the Blue Jays could have him play second base. Given his track record of excellent defence (seven consecutive years of positive defensive ratings at FanGraphs) he could presumably play the position well.