Cincinnati Reds general manager Walt Jocketty has been popular among his peers at this week’s GM meetings in Indian Wells, Calif.
He has what many of them need: shortstops.
The Reds have two talented shortstops on their 40-man roster: Zack Cozart, 27, and Didi Gregorius, 22. Both are far away from free agency, meaning one could be dealt to fill a more immediate need.
In fact, Jocketty told FOXSports.com Thursday that it’s possible he will trade one of them this winter.
“It depends if we get back what we need,” Jocketty said. “If we don’t, then I won’t mind holding onto them.”
Cozart was the Reds’ everyday shortstop this year, but Gregorius was impressive in a September cameo. “He’s going to be an everyday player,” Jocketty said of Gregorius. “It’s just a question of when and how we manage it.”
(Of note, the Reds moved dynamic prospect Billy Hamilton from shortstop to center field because Cozart and Gregorius were ahead of him on the organizational depth chart.)
What could the Reds obtain in a trade for Cozart or Gregorius? Jocketty suggested the Reds are looking for a closer (so Aroldis Chapman can move into the rotation) and leadoff hitter, most likely one who plays the outfield.
The Oakland A’s are a potential trade partner, because of their need at shortstop and deep stable of relievers. Oakland also has a surplus of outfielders, including veteran leadoff man Coco Crisp.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays also are interested in acquiring a shortstop this winter. Arizona (Adam Eaton/Gerardo Parra) and Minnesota (Denard Span/Ben Revere) have leadoff hitters to spare.
-- Jon Paul Morosi