The Angels have agreed to terms with infielder Zack Cozart on a three-year deal, the team announced on Friday. The deal is worth $38 million, sources tell MLB.com's Mark Feinsand and Maria Guardado.
Although Cozart has never played an inning of third base in his seven-year Major League career with the Reds, he is expected to shift to third with Gold Glove Award-winner Andrelton Simmons entrenched at shortstop.
Cozart, 32, earned his first All-Star nomination in 2017 and started for the National League at shortstop. He slashed a career-best .297/.385/.548 with 24 home runs last season and also set a career-best 12.2 percent walk rate after topping out at 7.3 percent in 2016.
The Angels have been searching for an upgrade at third base after their players hit just .235/.313/.411 at the hot corner last season, and their 2.0 WAR ranked 21st in baseball. The Cozart addition will also not cost Los Angeles Draft picks since the Reds did not extend him a qualifying offer.
This continues a busy offseason for the Angels that also includes signing Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani, extending slugger Justin Upton for $106 million and trading for second baseman Ian Kinsler.
The addition of Cozart gives the Angels one of the best defensive teams in baseball, as he has posted a 9.7 Defensive WAR in his seven-year career.
Adding that to the best defensive shortstop in all of baseball Simmons, who has a 21.9 Defensive WAR in six seasons, and Kinsler, who has a 16.1 dWAR in 12 seasons, will give Angels one of the best infields defensively in baseball.
The Angels will have five Gold Glovers on their team in 2018, Albert Pujols (2006, 2010), Simmons (2013, 2014, 2017), Calhoun (2015), Martin Maldonado (2017) and Kinsler (2016).
Incredibly Mike Trout has not yet won a Gold Glove, but we all know he plays pretty good defense.
The biggest hole defensively would be in left field, as Justin Upton has never been one of the best defensive outfielders but he holds his own.
By Ben Weinrib | MLB.com and Al Bat