5:05pm: In a full column on the matter, Rosenthal adds to his initial report, noting that the Dodgers are now expected to circle back to the Rays and Tigers on respective trade targets Logan Forsythe and Ian Kinsler. (Kinsler has a no-trade clause, but his agent has previously told Rosenthal that he’d waive the protection in exchange for a contract extension.)
Both Forsythe and Kinsler are right-handed bats, which would fill a significant need for the Dodgers, who rated as the game’s worst offense against left-handers in 2016. Forsythe enjoyed a breakout season with the Rays in 2015 and had a strong (albeit slightly diminished) followup in 2016. Across the past two seasons, the 29-year-old has batted .273/.337/.444 with 37 homers and 15 steals.
Forsythe lacks the power of Dozier (who has homered 70 times in the past two seasons), but he’s comparable from a financial standpoint. Currently, Forsythe is set to earn $14.75MM in the next two years, although the $9MM value of his 2018 option could rise by as much as $1.5MM based on his plate appearances in 2017. He’ll earn $500K upon reaching 550, 600 and 633 plate appearances. With a comparable financial commitment but less power than Dozier, Forsythe could potentially be had for a lower asking price, although the Rays are still likely to ask for quite a bit in return.
Talks between the Twins and Dodgers could pick back up later this offseason, but for the time being, it doesn’t seem as if the two sides will continue talking. Rosenthal writes that the Twins want Dozier to have some increased peace of mind heading into the season, and that meshes with previous reports that cited similar reasoning behind Minnesota pushing for resolution one way or another.
1:35pm: The Twins and Dodgers are at an “impasse” in their discussions over second baseman Brian Dozier, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). Minnesota could still hold further discussions, as Bob Nightengale of USA Today also suggests via Twitter, but it seems that the sides are at a standstill for the time being.
Meanwhile, there’s another intriguing thread to the Dozier saga, courtesy of MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger. He says that the Twins have had at least some talks with the representatives for free agent slugger Jose Bautista, as well as other prominent open-market hitters. Particularly if Dozier remains in the fold, it seems, the Twins could perhaps make a slight pivot in their offseason strategy to take advantage of a tantalizing arrangement of power bats still available to the highest bidder.
In a sense, of course, the news on Dozier isn’t new. We’ve been told for some time that the Dodgers were largely standing on their offer of young righty Jose De Leon for the veteran, with the teams bargaining over the additional pieces. While Los Angeles was said to be willing to kick on some more prospect assets, perhaps those pieces aren’t viewed as significant enough to move the ball for Minnesota.
It seems there’s still some opening for talks to continue, but we are at the end of the roughly one-week period within which Minnesota was reportedly set to make a decision. The club has put out the word that it doesn’t intend to drag out negotiations over the rest of the spring, due at least in part out of respect for Dozier. Of course, the organization likely also would like to move on with alternative approaches in the event that Dozier is to remain on hand for at least the first half of the upcoming season.