Pete Kozma Signs Minor League Contract With New York Yankees


Infielder Pete Kozma has signed a minor-league contract with the New York Yankees; the contract includes an invitation to spring training. After being designated for assignment by the Cardinals last month, Kozma became a minor-league free agent. The 27-year old, who was the 18th pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, spent the last five seasons in St. Louis, primarily as a utility man, though he was the starting shortstop for the last month of 2012 and all of 2013.

Kozma got off to an incredible beginning when cast into a starting role, hitting for a .333 average and .952 OPS over 26 games in 2012, then connecting for a ninth-inning single in Game 5 of the NLDS that allowed the Cardinals to advance to the National League Championship Series. However, it soon became apparent that Kozma can’t hit that well for an extended period of time. Though he was the starting shortstop on a 2013 Cardinals club that won the NL pennant, he hit just .217 with a .548 OPS in 410 at-bats that year, and he went 5-for-35 at the plate during the postseason.In 700 career plate appearances, Kozma now owns a .222/.228/.293 slash line, which is not exactly something to write home about.

Next: Peter Bourjos Claimed on Waivers by Phillies

This signing works out well for both teams. The Cardinals have no problem with infield depth, and the Yankees are lacking a shortstop to serve as depth in Triple-A.