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Earlier than Saturday’s recreation Zack Cozart received a quick glimpse of the donkey-associated bliss he can anticipate when Joey Votto fulfills his All-Star promise.
The Enquirer/Zach Buchanan

5 days after the World Collection ends, Cincinnati Reds shortstop Zack Cozart will grow to be a free agent for the primary time in his profession. He’ll be coming off a breakout season during which he posted a .933 OPS and was value four.9 wins over a alternative participant as measured by Baseball-Reference. When the ultimate tallies for MVP voting are launched, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Cozart’s identify on a poll or two.

That’s an enviable strategy to enter the open market, however Cozart may need to handle his expectations. Executives with rival groups who spoke with The Enquirer steered that whereas Cozart might do properly for himself in free company, it’s unlikely he’ll break the financial institution.

“I might be stunned if he received a 3-yr deal,” stated one government with an American League staff.

It’s unlikely Cozart’s market will probably be dragged down by the Reds giving him a qualifying supply. If accepted, Cozart would draw a $17.four million wage from the Reds for the 2018 season, consuming up most if not all the cash Cincinnati has out there to spend this winter. If rejected, the Reds would obtain a draft decide after the primary spherical provided that Cozart signed a deal value no less than $50 million assured.

Reaching that threshold can be extremely unlikely, rival executives stated. Current historical past isn’t filled with shortstops who secured such a deal at age 32 or older, the one exception being the 4-yr, $fifty three million deal Jhonny Peralta signed with the St. Louis Cardinals earlier than the 2014 season.

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Should Cozart’s deal fall below $50 million, the Reds would receive a draft pick prior to the third round. The risk of being unable to sign any other free agents likely isn’t worth the expected reward of draft pick compensation, and the Reds are thought to be leaning heavily against giving Cozart such a qualifying offer because of it.

Even if his market is unencumbered by the qualifying offer, forecasting Cozart’s market involves guesswork. Working in favor of Cozart are his 2017…