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, shortstop Zack Cozart will turn out to be a free agent for the primary time in his profession. He’ll be coming off a breakout season by 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 method to enter the open market, however Cozart may need to handle his expectations. Executives with rival groups who spoke with The Enquirer instructed 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 obtained a 3-yr deal,” stated one government with an American League group.

It’s unlikely Cozart’s market shall be dragged down by the Cincinnati 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 at the least $50 million assured.

Reaching that threshold can be extremely unlikely, rival executives stated. Current historical past is just not 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.

Ought to Cozart’s deal fall under $50 million, the Reds would obtain a draft decide previous to the third spherical. The danger of being unable to signal another free brokers possible isn’t well worth the anticipated reward of draft decide compensation, and the Reds are considered leaning closely towards giving Cozart such a qualifying supply due to it.

Even when his market is unencumbered by the qualifying supply, forecasting Cozart’s market includes guesswork. Working in favor of Cozart are his 2017 outcomes and the truth that he’s clearly the most effective shortstop choice probably…