TODAY: St. Louis is not “actively” working to acquire Dozier, per ESPN.com’s Mark Saxon (via Twitter).
YESTERDAY, 8:55pm: Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post tweets that the Nationals haven’t made any “serious” inquiries in Dozier. That could suggest that the Nats at least did some due diligence and checked in on the asking price, but with no natural fit for Dozier in D.C., it doesn’t seem they’re in hot pursuit. For those speculating on other possible landing spots for Dozier, FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweets that the Braves aren’t in on Dozier, and Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets that the Athletics aren’t in play either.
3:56pm: The Cardinals and Nationals are both among the teams showing interest in Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson reports (Twitter link). The Cardinals are “very much in” the mix for the slugger, while the Nats “remain in dialogue” with the Twins. The Dodgers and Giants, two clubs previously connected to Dozier (moreso Los Angeles), are also still involved, though the Giants are “trying to get creative” to make a deal work, as per Wolfson.
Multiple teams were known to have checked in on Dozier this winter, which wasn’t surprising given his power explosion last year (42 homers) and very affordable contract ($15MM owed through the 2018 season). While his production over the last four seasons and his relatively low price tag would theoretically make him of interest to any team, the Cards and Nats are both somewhat surprising suitors given their infield surpluses.
St. Louis’ projected starting infield looks like Aledmys Diaz at short, Matt Carpenter at first, Jedd Gyorko at either third or second, perhaps alternating between the two positions to give playing time to Jhonny Peralta at third and Kolten Wong at second. That’s not even counting Carpenter’s own ability to move between second and third, nor does that include first baseman Matt Adams’ availability against righty pitching or the versatile Greg Garcia. One would think that if the Cardinals did acquire Dozier, at least one of these names would be going back to Minnesota — a younger, affordable player like Wong makes the most sense, though that’s just my speculation. Wong’s value is hardly at its peak right now, though, and any trade figures to be centered around young pitching.
Washington seems like even less of a fit, as Daniel Murphy is entrenched at second base, though metrics such as Defensive Runs Saved and UZR/150 have long considered Murphy to be a below-average defender there. Acquiring Dozier to play second and moving Murphy to play first isn’t really a fit given the presence of Ryan Zimmerman. While the longtime Nats fixture has been plagued by injuries in recent years and saw his production badly drop off in 2016, Zimmerman is probably too expensive ($46MM through 2019) to simply be relegated to a bench role. The Nats also have third base spoken for in the form of Anthony Rendon.
With the Twins in rebuilding mode, trading Dozier for a wealth of prospects makes sense, though the club hasn’t been thought to be in any particular rush to move their second baseman given his value as an asset. The Dodgers were reportedly willing to offer top pitching prospect Jose De Leon as part of a Dozier trade, though Minnesota has been holding out for more, either from L.A. or another team.