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Reds shortstop Zack Cozart will not receive a qualifying offer

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This means he is a free agent with no strings attached.

Cincinnati Reds v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Reds choose not to tender their free-agent shortstop a qualifying offer worth $17.4 million.

I previously wrote about a trade possibility concerning Cozart to the Angels last offseason, if he were willing to move to second base in deference to Andrelton Simmons.

Cozart is a defensive wizard and has averaged 9 DRS (defensive runs saved) and 7 UZR (ultimate zone rating) over his six seasons with the Reds. He isn’t familiar playing second base, which is a major problem. However, it’s not too late for him to learn a new position, as his strong instincts, athleticism, and arm accuracy would still translate to second base. ...

He will have to work extensively in the batting cage, but at 31 years old, it’s not out of the question for him to improve as a hitter.

His bat improved quite a bit, slashing .297/.385/.548 to record a 5-WAR mark per both Fangraphs’ and Baseball-Reference’s calculations. His 141 wRC+ is an incredible improvement over his career marks, but ultimately his market will be determined by his willingness to change positions.

Nearly all contenders and fringe contenders already have shortstops, so he would receive more playing time if he were to learn new positions. The Angels can offer him regular playing time at a single position (second base) and are looking to contend, which makes for an attractive pitch in free agency. In addition, since the Reds will not tender him a QO, Cozart would not require sacrificing draft picks regardless of the size of the deal. It would also not require surrendering prospect currency.

Cozart, 32, played just 122 games but was still more valuable than Cesar Hernandez, Dee Gordon, or Ian Kinsler over the full season.