Zack Cozart is bringing the donkey Joey Votto gave him to California

Zack Cozart and Donald the donkey (his gift from Joey Votto) are headed to Los Angeles. (AP)

Veteran infielder Zack Cozart landed a life-changing deal on Friday, signing for three years and $38 million with the Los Angeles Angels.

As it turns out, it will also be a life-changing deal for “Donald.” That’s Donald, as in the new Cozart family donkey that was gifted to him by his now former Cincinnati Reds teammate Joey Votto. The former National League MVP promised Cozart a donkey if he made the All-Star team, and that’s exactly what Cozart did in 2017.

Cozart says the donkey has remained in Cincinnati since July. That’s mostly because he didn’t know for sure where his baseball career would take him, but also because he didn’t own a yard big enough to accommodate Donald. That’s going to change real soon though now that he’s landed the first big money deal of his career.

Cozart, who turned 32 in August, picked a good time to have a career year. His offensive numbers were up across the board, as he slashed .297/.385/.548 while hitting a career high 24 homers. That production, combined with strong work in the field, made him very appealing to the Angels.

Los Angeles doesn’t need a shortstop, which is the only position Cozart’s played in the big leagues. That job belongs to Gold Glove winner Andrelton Simmons. The Angels previously talked to Cozart about playing second base, but that was no longer available after trading for Ian Kinsler at the Winter Meetings. So third base it will be for Cozart.

Cozart is more that willing to make the move. After spending several seasons with a Reds team going nowhere, he’s ready for a chance to win. The Angels should provide that now that they’ve made some big moves, including signing Shohei Ohtani.

The chance to win was one big win. Giving his family financial security was an even bigger win. That he can finally give Donald the donkey a home, well, that may have just made Friday the best day ever for Zack Cozart.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Yahoo Sports Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!