The Mariners thought they had a deal worked out for Cozart at the trade deadline last season, but it fell through.
MIAMI — For a good portion of his day on July 31 last season, Zack Cozart thought he was going to be a Seattle Mariner. All he was waiting for was a final confirmation.
On the day of the MLB trade deadline, Cozart woke up to the news that the Reds and Mariners had worked out a deal that would send him to Seattle in exchange for prospects. Cozart knew that being traded was a possibility. The team was actively looking to move him and Jay Bruce to bring back young talent. So the reports weren’t completely surprising.
“We had a west coast trip so we got in really late like at 5 a.m. into Cincinnati on that deadline day,” he recalled. “When I got up, I saw all the rumors that basically the deal was done and they were just finalizing stuff. So I was just waiting on a phone call at any second. I’m just waiting on that call from whoever saying, ‘We are finishing up the physicals or whatever and it’s happening.'”
Minutes and then hours passed without a call. Cozart could only look at his phone and scroll through Twitter for answers.
Most Read Sports Stories
- Garfield High star Dalayah Daniels set to make impact after transferring home to UW
- Pac-12 survival guide: Five forces that will define the path to salvation, or extinction
- Pac-12 mailbag: Kliavkoff’s culpability, expansion options, WSU's connections and more
- At midpoint of year, Mariners are showing their season is half-full
- Mariners offense comes alive to support strong effort by Chris Flexen in 8-2 pounding of Padres
“I was just in limbo from 10 o’clock to the deadline,” he said. “My manager (Bryan Price) is calling me and asking and if I heard anything and I told him, no.”
In the end, the trade fell through. The Reds had issues and questions surrounding the health of many of the prospects the Mariners listed as available.
“Like three minutes before the deadline, Bryan Price calls me and he’s like, ‘you’re not getting traded,'” Cozart said. “I was shocked.”
It’s worked out well for both teams. Cozart made his first all-star game this season, hitting .316 with a .941 on-base plus slugging percentage, 18 doubles, six triples, nine homers and 35 RBIs in 66 games. Meanwhile the Mariners went out and traded for Jean Segura in the offseason. Segura signed a five-year contract extension and is hitting .349 with 16 doubles, six homers and 29 RBI in 60 games.
Cozart is a free agent after this season so there’s a good chance the Reds could try to trade him again. Last year prepared him for it.
“I’ve always said I loved the Reds,” he said. “My family loves it there. It would’ve been a shock being traded anywhere else And I’m sure I’ll be going through it here in the next couple of weeks.”