We’ve heard plenty over recent weeks about the Twins’ negotiations with rival clubs over star second baseman Brian Dozier. Minnesota reportedly asked interested suitors for their final offers in late December, but nothing more has emerged since (at least, not yet).
The Dodgers have been tied most heavily, and probably represent the cleanest fit. But the two organizations are said to be haggling over a complementary piece to accompany intriguing righty Jose De Leon, who’d seem to represent a worthwhile centerpiece. We’ve heard suggestions that the division-rival Giants could also be involved, though it has never been apparent whether San Francisco is fully engaged on Dozier. Likewise, the Cardinals and Nationals have been mentioned as possibilities, but it’s questionable at best whether either could represent a serious pursuer. There are a few other organizations that seem like hypothetical matches on paper, but we have yet to hear any suggestion of broader interest.
That’s hardly an optimal situation for the Twins, who would obviously prefer to see some bidding on a player who has compiled about 14 fWAR over the last three seasons and is owed just $15MM for his age-30 and 31 seasons. While it’s fair to wonder whether Dozier can maintain anything like the power surge he showed last year (.278 ISO, 42 home runs), he’s not dependent upon gaudy dinger tallies for all of his value. Dozier also rates as an outstanding overall baserunner and solid-enough up-the-middle defender, and has never slipped below league-average offensive production since establishing himself in the majors, so there’s a solid floor to go with his newly established ceiling.
All said, it would be hard for Minnesota to part with that package for anything less than what it deems to be fair value. If that can’t be found now, then perhaps the organization will just have to take Dozier into the season and take on the risks of waiting for a trade-deadline deal. That approach has paid off in some cases (Cole Hamels, Jonathan Lucroy) while backfiring in others (Tyson Ross). Ultimately, if the Giants aren’t willing to push the envelope, and no additional teams step into the fray, then this may simply turn into a staring contest between Derek Falvey and Andrew Friedman.
So, MLBTR readers, what do you think is most likely? Will the Twins strike a deal at some point in the coming weeks, or will Dozier still be at second base in Minnesota for the coming season (or, at least, part of it)? (Link for app users.)