The San Francisco Giants’ decision to trade for veteran shortstop Zack Cozart is a classic Farhan Zaidi move in every way — and that’s a good thing.
San Francisco Giants fans have been waiting for the team to make any sort of positive addition to the roster this offseason.
At the very least, they just wanted to see their team add a player instead of letting one walk. And on Wednesday they got just that.
And if there ever was a classic, prototypical Farhan Zaidi move — this was it.
Cozart is the name in this trade. but he’s far from the centerpiece. Make no mistake about it, this was a pure salary dump by the Angels who were likely trying to clear room for a Gerrit Cole signing that never came to fruition.
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But the Giants aren’t going to complain, they just landed the Angels’ 2019 first-round pick.
Wilson was selected by the Angels with the 15th overall selection in this past year’s draft and the 21-year-old shortstop ranked No. 4 in the team’s farm system before the trade. And for the Giants, he is the obvious star of the show.
Cozart has struggled through two horrendous, injury-riddled seasons in Los Angeles. The former National League All-Star has played in just 96 games over two seasons with the Angels and batted 10 points shy of the Mendoza Line over that time.
He remains a stout defender, but his salary and increasing age made him a liability on the Angels roster. And with plenty of money to spend and few obvious places to spend it, the Giants were happy to take him off their hands — for the price of Wilson.
Zaidi has made a living out of smart, future-oriented moves like this. The Giants aren’t going to be making any major free-agent signings this offseason — in all likelihood. That’s why a move like this makes all the sense in the world.
Wilson is a player who could very feasibly be a key piece of the roster in the near future. It’s fun to envision a middle infield with the likes of Mauricio Dubon and Wilson a couple of seasons down the line.
MLB Pipeline had the following to say about Wilson’s abilities.
“Though he’s not physically imposing, Wilson has quick hands and deceptive strength that give him at least above-average raw power. A right-handed hitter, he has a knack for putting the barrel on the ball. He shows the ability to hit for average and power, and he has done a better job of drawing walks this spring despite his aggressive approach.”
Meanwhile, Cozart likely isn’t going to have much a role with the team with Dubon and Brandon Crawford set to start at second base and shortstop restively. Perhaps Cozart splits time with Dubon at second or spells the aging Crawford at shortstop.
Or perhaps the Giants just eat his salary and cut him before the season starts.
Either way, the main attraction of this deal was Wilson. In the most Zaidi way possible, the Giants have acquired yet another young player who could be a key piece for the team down the line.
In essence, the Giants bought an extra first-round pick.
It may be difficult at times to trust the process when it comes to Zaidi, but moves like this remind fans just how smart of a baseball mind he is. Giants fans needed a reason for restored faith after some questionable moves this offseason.
And now they have one.