MLB Trade Rumors: Zack Cozart and Will Wilson have been sent by the Anaheim Angels to the San Francisco Giants for a player to be named later or cash, it has been announced today. Wilson, a shortstop out of North Carolina State, was the #15 overall pick in the 2019 draft, and the Angels are essentially giving up to the Giants to unload Cozart and the remainder of his 3 year, $38 million deal which is up after 2020.
Cozart had a breakout year in 2017 as the Cincinnati Reds shortstop, putting up a 933 OPS and a 4.9 bWAR, and on the strength of that season the Angels grabbed him to be their third baseman. Cozart’s 2017 season, however, appeared even at the time to be fluky — the spread between his wOBA and xwOBA was among the highest in major league baseball that year — and after putting up a 658 OPS in 253 plate appearances in 2018, he had a 322 OPS in 107 plate appearances in 2019. The Giants seem likely to end up releasing him, meaning that they will be paying around $12 million for the rights to Wilson, a mid-first-rounder just six months ago.
This is a potentially ominous development for the Texas Rangers and their pursuit of Anthony Rendon, as well. The Angels have been rumored to have interest in Rendon, and by unloading Cozart and his salary, they have free up both payroll room and the third base job. And the Angels are meeting with Rendon’s agent, Scott Boras, this evening, per reports.