The notion that the Dodgers have “piqued” the Twins’ interest in trade discussions for second baseman Brian Dozier is “more rumor than substance,” a source told Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). That could change, however, as talks will pick up during this week’s winter meetings, per Wolfson.
In a potentially interesting development, Dozier will attend the meetings in National Harbor, Md., and is scheduled to arrive Monday, according to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press. Dozier will be on hand because of a marketing commitment, not necessarily to help facilitate a trade, but he’ll likely to have the chance to meet with newly hired Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine for the first time. Levine said earlier this week that the Twins would have to be “really inspired” to trade Dozier, but it’s nonetheless easy to imagine the rebuilding club dealing him on the heels of a career year.
While Dozier has been a more-than-steady contributor since 2013, he burst on the national scene in 2016 by becoming just the fourth second baseman to ever reach the 40-HR plateau in a season. Dozier swatted 42 homers, to be exact, and he displayed more than power with an impressive .268/.340/.545 batting line in 691 plate appearances, 18 steals and and a superstar-caliber fWAR (5.9).
As a result of both his stellar production and affordability – he’ll make $15MM over the next two seasons – four to five teams are pushing to acquire Dozier, reports FanRag’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link). The only known suitor is the Dodgers, whose interest in the 29-year-old has been known since November.