Inbox: What should the Reds do with Cozart?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers fans' questions

June 1st, 2017

Do you think the Reds stick with the plan to trade Zack Cozart or do they attempt to re-sign him?

-- @redsmccurdygal

Cozart has been huge for the Reds this season, and I know they'd hate to lose him in the lineup and the clubhouse. But I think Cincinnati's front office will continue to explore moving him, if there's a deal out there. Few contending teams seem to need a shortstop right now, just like in the offseason.

If the Reds don't trade Cozart, he will hit free agency after the season. I can't imagine him not wanting to see what his open-market value is. It would seem to be cost prohibitive for Cincinnati to make a qualifying offer that would approach $18 million for 2018. As for re-signing, the risk there is that Cozart is 31 years old, and locking him up too long would mean he'd be around during expectedly less productive years.

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If the Reds do trade Cozart, what is the possibility of moving back to shortstop? I think he has a much better glove than .

-- @KYCoach25

If Cozart does get traded this year, I'd expect Suarez to remain at third base for the Reds for the rest of this season. Peraza would likely move to shortstop and it would be a chance for Cincinnati to see if he can play the position. At the moment, Scooter Gennett would be my choice to be the regular second baseman. For 2018, when third baseman and No. 1 prospect Nick Senzel would be close to being big league ready, I'd explore if Suarez can still play shortstop.

Can you give an update on Dilson Herera and if his shoulder is OK from earlier this spring?

-- Dan M., Tiffin, Ohio

Herrera's shoulder appears to be OK, and I've heard nothing that says otherwise. The reason why he's not mentioned in the previous answer is because he entered Thursday batting .228/.285/.336 with three home runs at Triple-A Louisville.

Have the Reds thought about stretching out for the rotation because of their lack of depth? His bat would be a nice bonus every five days.

-- James B., Dundee, Oregon

I know Lorenzen would like to start, and he hasn't given up on it, nor have the Reds given their final answer about his pitching future. However, if Lorenzen were to be shifted into the rotation, it would likely mean he'd have to go to the Minors for a while to stretch out his arm for starting. Then there would be a void in two spots on the staff.

The bullpen has been a strength because of Lorenzen, and if the club gets starters like , Homer Bailey and others back, that should be their first option. Also, manager Bryan Price told the Cincinnati Enquirer on Wednesday there were no plans to move Lorenzen back into the rotation during the 2017 season.

Although 's comeback story has been nothing short of amazing, it seems like he is constantly digging the offense a sizeable hole to come back from. What do you think his future is? I can see him as a specialist reliever, but starting seems to be beyond his current capabilities.

-- John J., Indianapolis, Ind.

Arroyo realizes he has a short window for his performances to start turning a corner. When injured starting pitchers start coming off the disabled list, it will get harder to make the case that he is one of the Reds' best five starters available. I suppose the bullpen is an option if Arroyo can provide length, but his style of pitching and preparation could make that a square peg for a round hole.