The Red Sox have been scouting Reds shortstop Zack Cozart, reports Evan Drellich of CSN New England. The club announced top prospect Rafael Devers' promotion Sunday afternoon, so Devers will take over third base duties while Boston searches the trade market for infield depth.
Cozart, 31, has been exceptional at the top of the Reds' lineup in 2017, hitting .319/.406/.564 with an OPS+ of 148. His 3.5 fWAR ranks third among shortstops and 16th in all of baseball this season, an impressive jump from a 2016 season in which Cozart was worth just 2.5 fWAR over 190 more plate appearances.
Cozart would serve as a rental piece for Boston's playoff push, as the seven-year vet will hit free agency this offseason. The club believes Devers will prove competent enough to man the hot corner full-time in 2018, making Cozart a preferable option for the first-place Sox as opposed to dealing for a longterm third base asset.
Boston’s interest in Cozart is largely dependent on how Devers performs in his first taste of major-league action, as the club would be unlikely to acquire a veteran if he proves worthy of staying in the bigs Cozart is the latest infielder to be linked to the Red Sox, who are also interested in Giants shortstop Eduardo Nunez and many others.