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Angels add Zack Cozart to upgraded infield on a three-year contract

16 December 2017, 05:58 | Percy Christensen

Angels add Zack Cozart to upgraded infield on a three-year contract

Angels add Zack Cozart to upgraded infield on a three-year contract

Zack Cozart now joins Shohei Ohtani and Ian Kinsler as the newest Halos.

Cozart became the third Reds shortstop to earn a fan election, joining Dave Concepcion and Hall of Famer Barry Larkin.

The Reds, still in their "rebuilding" mode and having dispatched most high-salaried players since 2015, showed little interest in getting into a free-agent bidding war over Cozart.

One issue that many were concerned about with Cozart is his age and injury history as Cozart is 31 and has just one season of over 600 plate appearances in his 7-year career.

Cozart will look to follow up his All-Star campaign in 2017 with Los Angeles, as the Angels continue to make big splashes this winter. While the Angels could use their already-heavy payroll as an excuse to go cheap at the positions, perhaps finding a platoon partner for Luis Valbuena at third base and signing another likely glove-first player for second base, they certainly went a different direction. Instead, they are looking to test the market for shortstops in free agency.

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Because Cirque du Soleil performer Andrelton Simmons is already at shortstop, Cozart is going to slide over to third. Cozart has made an effort in recent years to get the ball in the air more and he was more selective in 2017, which led to a career best.548 slugging percentage and 12.2 percent walk rate.

The Angels' probable starters include five Gold Glove winners (catcher Martin Maldonado, Simmons, Kinsler, Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun) and three more considered well above average with the glove (Upton, Cozart and Trout).

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The Los Angeles Angels seem determined to field one of the best defensive teams in baseball next season, and signing Zack Cozart should help them accomplish that goal.

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