Posted on December 30, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
The saga involving the Minnesota Twins possibly trading second baseman Brian Dozier has been one of the most intriguing storylines of the MLB offseason. But the Twins appear to have had just about enough of all the rumors and speculation. The Twins are hoping to bring the trade talk to a conclusion in one way or another as soon as possible.
According to a report from the Star Tribune published Friday morning, the Twins have asked every team with an interest in acquiring Dozier to put forth their best and final offer within the next few days. The Twins appear eager for clarity on the situation; they either want to trade Dozier or let him know with certainty that he will be their every day second baseman for the 2017 season.
From the very start, the price to acquire Dozier has been high. Minnesota has not been proactive or all that motivated to trade Dozier, preferring to keep him on a team-friendly contract for the next two years. However, they’ve been willing to listen to offers for him, knowing that his value may never be higher coming off a year in which he had 42 home runs and 99 RBIs.
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Of course, trading Dozier may be what’s best for Minnesota in terms of accelerating what could be a long rebuilding project after the Twins lost 103 games in 2016. However, the Twins have not come down on their price for Dozier, and so far, no team has been willing to meet their demands. Thus, the Twins are giving every team one more chance before they take the possibility of trading Dozier off the table, at least until next summer.
The Dodgers have long been considered the favorites to trade for Dozier, as they have an obvious vacancy at second base and have been in contact with the Twins the longest. However, while they have been willing to make pitching prospect Jose De Leon the focal point of a deal, they have been unwilling to involve first base prospect Cody Bellinger or pitching prospects Yadier Alvarez or Walker Buehler. At this point, a package highlighted by De Leon alone is unlikely to make the Twins budge.
The Giants have also shown interest in Dozier, but they may not be that motivated to make a deal with Joe Panik entrenched at second base. San Francisco may also have difficulty coming up with a suitable package of prospects. The Nationals have been thrown out as another possibility, as Daniel Murphy could move to first base or third base to accommodate Dozier. However, the Nationals may not be willing to give up a package of prospects akin to what they already gave up to acquire Adam Eaton.
There have also been conflicting reports about whether the St. Louis Cardinals have interest in Dozier. Kolten Wong’s spot at second base isn’t exactly fully secure after a disappointing 2016 season, and the Cardinals may be feeling a bit of pressure to make some bold moves to try to keep up with the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. However, the Cardinals may have to give up top prospect Alex Reyes in order to get Dozier, and St. Louis may not be willing to do that.
At the moment, there are a few suitors for Dozier, but none of them appear willing or able to meet Minnesota’s price for him. It doesn’t seem like the Twins will come down on their price, and so unless one of those teams suddenly steps up its offer, it appears that Dozier will be staying put. The Dodgers may be desperate enough to cave to Minnesota’s demands, but right now, odds are Dozier will be with the Twins on opening day.