Oakland A’s make solid depth move in signing Pete Kozma
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s have made a move to address their infield depth, signing Pete Kozma to a minor league deal.
The Oakland A’s infield may be vastly different in 2021. Their starting middle infield – Marcus Semien and Tommy La Stella – are both free agents and should have a robust market. Depending on their market, it is possible that neither player returns for the coming year.
Even if one, or both, of those players return, the A’s still need some infield depth. On Tuesday, they made a move to address the infield by signing Pete Kozma to a minor league deal.
A seven year veteran, Kozma has spent most of his time in the majors at short, but does have experience at second and third as well. He is not going to produce much with the bat, with a lifetime .215/.278/.291 batting line in his 813 plate appearances.
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Most of that action came in 2013. He was the Cardinals starting shortstop that year, appearing in 143 games. As one would have expected, Kozma produced next to nothing with the bat, with a .217/.275/.273 batting line in his 448 plate appearances. He had 20 doubles, but no speed and belted only one homer that year.
However, Kozma is an excellent defensive player. He saved 12 runs at short that year, the third highest total in the National League, and led the league with 98 double plays. Although he does not have nearly as much experience at second and third, Kozma has also displayed a solid glove at those positions as well.
Chances are this is just a depth signing. Kozma has just 66 major league appearances since the end of the 2015 season, and has not made a major league appearance since 2018. However, given the A’s need for depth and his defensive ability, Kozma could get a look in spring training.
The Oakland A’s have added more depth to their middle infield with Pete Kozma. While he is likely ticketed for AAA, he could play a role for the A’s in 2021.