The Diamondbacks are one of the teams with interest in free-agent second baseman Brian Dozier, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network. If there are other clubs looking at Dozier, their identities are unknown as of now.
It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything regarding Dozier, and this is the first time a specific team has been named. Still, with Heyman implying that there’s multiple teams pursuing the 32-year-old, it’s anyone’s guess when and where Dozier will sign his next deal. It looks like a return to Washington, with whom Dozier spent just one season, can be ruled out after the team has made a series of infield acquisitions.
There’s not necessarily a gaping hole in the Arizona infield either, but that doesn’t mean the veteran Dozier couldn’t carve out a role with the Diamondbacks. Eduardo Escobar looks like the best bet to start at second base on Opening Day, but he could slide over to third—where he played last year—and bump Jake Lamb into a part-time role at first base.
Dozier enjoyed a nice bounce-back year in 2019 after seeing his 2018 numbers dip to career-worst marks almost across the board. Last year, he managed a respectable .771 OPS while belting 20 home runs, ultimately contributing to a World Series-winning team. There’s no doubt that he’s lost a step since his Minnesota days, but there could still be some value here. Notably, Dozier has graded out as a below-average defender in each of the last three years by Defensive Runs Saved, while Statcast’s Outs Above Average has also observed a similarly steep falloff since 2017.
Financially, the Diamondbacks shouldn’t have any trouble making another addition like Dozier, who made an affordable $9MM in 2019 and should once again come at a reasonable price. Even after a relatively busy offseason, Roster Resource tabs their current payroll obligations at just about $114MM, which comes in a little shy of the $125MM they owed last year.
So while it’s been a quiet offseason for Dozier, we should expect to hear more about his free agency in the near future, with Spring Training approaching and teams looking to round out their rosters with depth acquisitions.