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Rumor Central: Could the Nats pursue Zack Cozart this offseason?

All-Star shortstop Zack Cozart likely enhanced his market value by hitting .297/.385/.548 this season. Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals could be interested in Zack Cozart this winter if the Cincinnati Reds do not make a qualifying offer to the veteran shortstop, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.

Rumor CentralCafardo notes the Nationals have inquired about Cozart in the past, and they could open up a spot at shortstop by moving Trea Turner to center field. It's worth noting, however, that primary center fielder Adam Eaton is expected to return next season after missing the majority of this year with a torn ACL.

The 32-year-old Cozart had a career year for the Reds, recording a .297/.385/.548 slash line with 24 homers and earning his first All-Star berth.

It remains unclear if the Reds are willing to make a qualifying offer, which will be worth $18.2 million. In late August, Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer suggested there is a reasonable chance Cozart would accept such an offer, which would be a healthy raise from the $5.3 million he made this season.

-- Doug Mittler