TODAY: The Royals announced that they have requested unconditional release waivers on Dozier.
MAY 22: The Royals announced Monday that infielder Hunter Dozier, who’s playing out the third season of a four-year contract worth a guaranteed $25MM, has been designated for assignment. His spot on the active roster will go to infielder Nicky Lopez, who is returning from the 10-day injured list.
Dozier, 31, was the No. 8 overall selection in the 2013 draft, though that was generally regarded as an underslot deal that allowed them to go over slot to sign lefty Sean Manaea 26 picks later. Dozier was still a well-regarded prospect himself, but he struggled considerably in his first few pro seasons before a breakout showing between Double-A and Triple-A in 2016. He struggled in his first two big league looks in 2016 and 2018 but looked to have a breakout campaign in 2019, when he slashed .279/.348/.522 with a career-high 26 home runs.
Of course, as is commonly known at this point, that 2019 season saw a host of odd offensive breakouts around the league as MLB worked with a juiced baseball both in the big leagues and in Triple-A. A comical 58 players belted 30 or more home runs that season, and were it not for a three-week stay on the injured list, Dozier might very well have been a 59th.
The 2020 season saw Dozier take a step back, but his .228/.344/.392 batting line still clocked in right around league-average, per metrics like wRC+ and OPS+, after weighting for his pitcher-friendly home park and a reduced leaguewide run-scoring environment. On the whole, Dozier batted .267/.347/.492 with 32 home runs in 772 plate appearances from 2019-20 — showing the Royals enough that they felt comfortable making that four-year extension offer prior to the 2021 season.
Things went south almost immediately, and Dozier has batted just .222/.286/.384 with a 27.2% strikeout rate in 1134 plate appearances since putting pen to paper on that contract. He’s oscillated between first base, third base and right field without drawing positive defensive grades at any of the three spots. This year’s struggles have been particularly pronounced, as Dozier has limped to a .183/.253/.305 slash with a career-worst 31.9% strikeout rate in 91 trips to the plate.
The Royals will have a week to trade Dozier, pass him through waivers or release him. Given that he’s being paid $7.25MM this season and is owed both a $9MM salary in 2024 and a $1MM buyout on a 2025 club option, there’s no way he’d be claimed on waivers. The Royals could perhaps try to engineer a swap that sends Dozier elsewhere in exchange for another bad contract, though they’ve presumably looked into such scenarios (or trade scenarios where they pay the bulk of the contract) without striking up a deal.
Even if Dozier goes unclaimed on outright waivers, he has more than five years of MLB service time, meaning he could reject an outright assignment, elect free agency and still retain the remainder of his salary. It’s most common for players in similar situations to this one to wind up simply being released. One way or another, it’s likely that today’s DFA will spell the end of Dozier’s time with the Royals organization. If he ultimately does end up becoming a free agent, he’d be able to sign with any of the 29 other teams, who’d only owe him the prorated league minimum for any time spent on the big league roster/injured list. That amount would be subtracted from what the Royals owe Dozier, but they’ll remain on the hook for the vast majority of his contract regardless.
Overdue but won’t move the needle.
Don’t worry, the Royals are cyclical. You just have to wade through another 12-13 years of constant failure before suddenly becoming competitive and winning a WS title.
WS every 30 years. Put your money on them in 2045
They could have had two in a row if Bumgarner wasn’t so great
As a brewers fan I’d take that cycle in a heartbeat….
Quicker than my Angels 41 years. Hope i’m alive in 2043
@Bloom, I could b retired if I had picked 4 more correct Powerball #s. What could ve been is irrelevant, only what was.
Uh, Angel’s won it all in ’02 what are you smoking?
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Bellinger’s top shelf cannabis, booyah!
It was mostly just an ode to a team that single-handedly won because of one player. You take Bumgarner off that team, who knows what happens. Super hard to go back to back these days though.
Fyi the Angels were founded in 1961, won the WS 41 years later, 41 added to 2002 would make this their next Championship 2043. It was in reference to a post in the thread above ( by AdmiralPatton) where KC will take 30 years between Championships
I hope this brings you up to speed Simple Jack
This one belongs to the Reds
Just like every other small market team. Then they wonder why attendance and interest is down in those 15-20 cities.
This is the year of dumping bad guys on big (relative to each team) contracts. Tommy la Stella, Aaron Hicks, Madison bumgarner, and Hunter Dozier. Who’d be next? Ozuna? Donaldson?
Yeah but Ozuna turned it up in May. His BA in April was like .079 and he now has a .200 average. He had more hits in the rangers series than he had all of April. Still sucks but when he’s bashing 440’ bombs there’s still something in the tank.
Doziers never had Marcells track record
He sure doesn’t have Ozuna’s “track record”.
or arrest record
Curly Was The Smart Stooge
Dozier was never accused of “choking” or being a big “hit” with the ladies
He was too far from San Diego, otherwise you never know…
Trevor Bauer was a 2.5-hour drive from his accuser. She had to drive that far after being fired by the Padres.
Fingers crossed it’s Jonathan Schoop. Me and him have the same amount of RBI’s this year!
If you are going to be bad at something, be spectacularly bad at it. Schoop is 71 AB’s from tying the record for most AB’s in a season without an RBI (Oscar Jones 1904) and only 66 AB’s from tying Caleb Joseph’s modern record (2016). See if he can set a new record and then release him the next day
Schoop was good for like one half of a season. Other than that, he’s been pretty bad
He was good for the Orioles in the early/mid 2010s
Its not like Schoop is getting any amount of playing time. Tigers should have put him at 2B and let him show if he could pull a prospect at the deadline. Instead, they are giving ABs to 30 yr old Ibanez, and 28 yr old McKinstry. They could have been given playing time AFTER giving Schoop his opportunity. Schoop was MLBs best defensive 2B last year, but has been played out of position (because Harris cut Candelario and didn’t replace him) and once or twice a week, not easy for someone used to playing daily. They won’t be able to get any trade value now. Maybe Kreidler could have gotten a longer shot at 3B. I’m just unable to explain why they even kept Schoop on the roster if they weren’t going to play him.
The age difference is negligible since Schoop is 31 himself.
McKinstry, to his credit, is out performing both players combined. McKinstry is hitting a decent .273 with 3 HR’s, 6 SB’s and 15 walks
They’re using Schoop in a platoon against left handed pitchers, and not very successfully. It’s time to get rid of Schoop, use Maton at second with McKinstry, and put Malloy at third.
Also, Schoop has played less than 30 innings at 3rd and more than 140 innings at 2nd. Hinch likes his players to be versatile… And since Schoop has almost no offensive value, he’s in no position to argue.
Right now, he has a tiny bit of value as a multi position platoon option. Probably not enough to justify keeping him on the roster.
@Stymmed, Schoop has played primarily 2nd while playing this season. And last season was given ample opportunity and was terrible at the plate. The turn around he’d need to have any trade value is just far from realistic.
Lol Ozuna is not getting DFA’d.
Ozuna has gone 7-19 in his last games and all of a sudden has 8 HR’s. As long as he flashes power the Braves aren’t cutting him.
Yanks probably don’t eat Donaldson’s contract after eating the remainder of Hicks’. With none of the multitude of LF/DH options running away with regular AB’s Donaldson may still be of use for them.
Corey Kluber will be next if he has another bad start this weekend for Boston. He has completely lost it this season.
Kluber lost it seasons ago – he was hanging as the teams were hoping fountain youth was still possible.
This happens every year, but I suspect it will only increase. For example, all the teams that signed players until they’re 40 or so this offseason fully expect to cut those players in the latter years.
The 2031 Padres are going to be a nightmare for whoever the owner/GM is when the time comes
Jarred Kelenic's Beer Can
Imagine if KC had sold high on him after the juiced ball year.
Imagine if they had sold high on him as an overhyped prospect. They could have probably gotten a good enough name in return to get to the playoffs in 2016 and/or 2017.
I’m not sure he was ever worth that much. He topped out at #95 in BP, with no ranking in MLB or BA. I’m not seeing any particularly big minor league seasons.
The bigger loss, imo, was not trading Merrifield. He was a much better player. If their intention was to hold onto him forever as a “franchise player”, fine, but they just held onto him until all his value was gone.
I’m not saying he could have gotten an ace by himself or anything. However, he was a big enough name that he could have returned more value than he proved to be worth.
I thought they traded Merrifield to Toronto at the deadline?
I thought they traded Merrifield to Toronto at the deadline?
They did, but they got nothing for him. At one time, he was probably worth two top-100 prospects, and not fringy ones either. From 2017-2020, he had an OPS+ of 112, with good defense at multiple positions, and with a great contract.
As bad as the Royals were for most of that time, they should’ve focused on a rebuild.
Imagine if they had kept Brent Rooker and DFAd Dozier instead.
Good move. Now send Eaton down to AAA.
Wish him the best but wonderful news for Royals fans.
At least he had a better career than Bubba Starling
When Matt Duffy has been your best hitter this season it’s already been a long year…
Sorry but Salvador Perez is our best hitter. Perez is probably the third best offensive catcher in the AL this year.
this has the makings of a classic Rays reclamation project
My immediate thought was Giants. They love but low vets that shouldn’t be able to hit but for whatever god forsaken reason have career turnarounds there.
Too bad. Good hardworking guy.. Wound up unable to hit. Contract was surprising at time, but did not seem horrible.
Dozier clearly benefited from the juiced ball year, his numbers are only good in 2019. He’s going to be fine, 15 million already in the bag, and another 9 million that Kansas City is on the hook for next year.
Do they still have to pay him if he’s released?
Yes-it’s in the article…..
Yes. It’s in the article.
I thought that’s why they usually tried to send them to the minors. Since they’re paying them anyway. I caught the free agency option part, and noticed that both Hicks and Dozier are expected to be released. Both are making decent salaries this season and I was wondering why release them when either can opt out of a minor league assignment.
@Grump everything you are asking is in the article…..
If they didn’t, it would take about a week to read all the releases in MLB
All I can say is I hope the CLE FO doesn’t even consider bringing Dozier on to “solve” the problem in RF. We all know how that would end, so let’s proactively commit to not fooling ourselves here.
Dozier was such a terrible extension. The day it was inked—it was a bad deal.
There are four ballplayers I’d have sex with: kevin Kiermaier, Tyler Glasnow, Trevor Richards and Matt Olsen. Otherwise, I love me some women.
Little Stevie Janowsky
Keep your Reddit fantasies out of here
May your bats be mighty…and your balls plentiful.
Little Stevie Janowsky
You still stalking me huh?
Pointing and laughing doesn’t qualify as stalking.
I was answering Seamus.
Back to the kids’ table.
Little Stevie Janowsky
Shouldnt you be sleeping right now? Do the nurses at your nursing home know you’re still up or are sneaking internet time again? You don’t want them to take your rice pudding away for a week again do you?
TMI, son. Read the room.
To me it was an odd extension to begin with. He was still aways from from FA. Sure, his arbitration numbers could have been high with the 2019 season — but he wasn’t going to recreate that most likely.
He’ll be lucky to get another MLB job. If you can’t cut it for the Royals, your pretty much down to the A’s.
Don’t sell the Nationals and Tigers short, they’re both very capable of picking up washed up players and signing them to extensions
Cashman on line 2
This may be the most positive thing to happen in the 2023 season. I am sure he is a great human being, but he is a horrible baseball player. I would bet that if he played in AAA, he would still be bad.
ghost of andy sonnanstine's future
Another failed Dayton Moore pick. Even his successes have been failures. His best pick turned out to be a terrible defensive catcher with zero plate discipline.
I don’t blame Hunter, he parlayed one good season into a big contract as most would do in his situation. I blame Royals scouting department for choosing him in a draft ahead of Austin Meadows, Hunter Renfroe, J.P. Crawford, Tim Anderson and Aaron Judge.
The Yankees drafted Eric Jagielo before Aaron Judge…so are they also bad at drafting?
He ‘s just a Jagielo and life goes on without him.
Name the last proven MLB star drafted in the first round by the Royals and developed and grown in their system… despite being quite bad most years and drafting high. There’s some decent players but no true superstars. Obviously the scouts or those developing the talent they draft in the minors are bad at their job. When the best argument you can make going back as far as 2005 is Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer. Way more Bubba Starling, Kyle Zimmer, Chase Vallot, Ashe Russel type names on the list.
Their recent drafts aren’t looking so hot either.. Gavin Cross is struggling horribly in the very low minors. Frank Mozzicato, Asa Lacy… Bobby Witt Jr looks like he could eventually put it together… by the time he does it won’t be in a Royals uniform. 2018 they drafted FOUR pitchers in the first round, Singer teased us last year by looking good, has been terrible this year (worst starter ERA in MLB).
Mlb payrolls are so great, Lol. The big boys have it all the money that is and small market teams are a joke. It would be nice to see a fair game again. Small market teams are triple A teams now.
Maybe these teams should stop guaranteeing these ridiculous contracts and pay folks for current performance like the rest of humanity. Monthy contracts instead of yearly. Incentives etc. Hahaha right?
I don’t blame him for being in a team that seems to be rebuilding forever, must be hard to keep up the motivation. He’d probably be happy with any team except Athletics.
If the Mets weren’t so full at 3rd base I’d like them to take a chance on Dozier. If I had to guess, I think the Reds take a flyer on him. They are pretty thin at third base. Dodgers are also a possiblility too, thirdbase has been a bit of a problem
31 years old? 2013 draft? Some of us are getting old