Posted on December 22, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
Even with several notable sluggers left on the free agent market, one power hitters is still receiving plenty of interest on the trade market, and that’s Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. With few options on the free agent market at his position, any team looking to add a second baseman likely views Dozier as the top option available, as the Twins have to consider trading him to give their farm system a boost while they rebuild. However, while Minnesota remains open to the idea of trading Dozier and is listening to offers from teams, the price for him remains quite high.
The team with the most interest in Dozier is the Los Angeles Dodgers. The aging Chase Utley was the primary second baseman in Los Angeles last season, and in lieu of trying to re-sign him, the Dodgers are looking at their other options, and Dozier is obviously at the top of their list. However, while the Twins and Dodgers seem to have had plenty of conversations about Dozier, reports coming out Wednesday indicate that talks have stalled.
The Dodgers are reportedly willing to make pitching prospect Jose De Leon the centerpiece of a deal for Dozier. Despite some struggles in his first few big league appearances last season, De Leon posted a 2.61 ERA in 16 starts at triple-A in 2016 and projects as a no. 2 starter in the majors. However, the teams cannot seem to agree on the other prospects who would be involved in the trade. De Leon would obviously be a good start, but considering Dozier’s value coming off a 42-home run season, it’s going to take a lot more for the Twins to part with him.
Meanwhile, the Twins are holding out on first base prospect Cody Bellinger being the centerpiece of the trade. Bellinger is still a year away from the majors, but he hit 26 home runs in the minors last year and is a quality defensive first baseman. If the Dodgers were to include Bellinger instead of De Leon, it could be easier for the two sides to agree on the rest of the prospects involved.
At this point, the two sides appear to be in a game of chicken, waiting for the other to make concessions. The Twins don’t necessarily need to trade Dozier right now, but it’s hard to imagine his value getting any higher than it is at present. On the other side, the Dodgers appear quite desperate to add a second baseman, and there aren’t too many options available to them via free agency or trade. This would appear to give the Twins a little more leverage in the situation.
Of course, there haven’t been too many other teams to show an interest in Dozier and a willingness to meet Minnesota’s asking price for him. The Giants have been involved in talks with the Twins to some extent, although a deal seems unlikely with Joe Panik entrenched at second base in San Francisco and the Giants already over the luxury tax threshold.
This again points to Dozier’s fate being left up to a staring contest between the Dodgers and Twins. Both sides appear to have an interest in making a trade, and both would likely benefit from making a trade. However, things appear to be at an impasse, and until one side gives a little on its demands, Dozier isn’t going anywhere.