Posted on November 25, 2016 by Bryan Zarpentine
The free agent market contains quite a few right-handed hitters who possess significant amounts of power. But when it comes to infielders, not so much. This has led to teams looking for an impact offensive player on the trade market, where one of the biggest names who could be available is Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. Unfortunately for those offensive-starved teams, the Twins have reportedly put a high price on Dozier with regard to a potential trade.
After being a steady contributor in Minnesota for a few years, Dozier was one of 2016’s biggest breakout stars, hitting .268 and exploding with 42 home runs and 99 RBIs on a Twins team that was out of contention nearly the entire season. Naturally, Dozier has become a popular player on the trade market, as the Twins are likely looking at a lengthy rebuilding project and could trade Dozier to help them restock their farm system.
Of course, the Twins know what they have in Dozier, and because of it, they are driving a hard bargain when it comes to trading their star second baseman. Reports out of Minnesota indicate that the price to acquire Dozier via trade is quite high. The Twins reportedly told one team that they “have to be wowed” in order to part with Dozier. An executive from a rival team described Minnesota’s approach as “smart,” explaining that Dozier “has the right-handed power that teams cover.”
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The Twins don’t necessarily want to part with Dozier, who will make just $15 million over the next two seasons before he reaches free agency, but they know that his trade value may never be higher. Minnesota is also cognizant of a weak free agent market among second baseman. With Neil Walker returning to the Mets, no free agent second baseman is anywhere close to Dozier’s level, which drives the price for Dozier even higher.
The trade market is also lacking in impact second baseman. There’s a chance that the Detroit Tigers will make Ian Kinsler available via trade, as they make fundamental changes to the organization this offseason. However, reports indicate that the Tigers have set a high price for many of their players, including Kinsler. This could make Dozier the top target of any team looking to upgrade at second base this winter.
Of course, there also appear to be few teams who need to add a second baseman this winter, with the most obvious exception to this being the Los Angeles Dodges. The Dodgers have reportedly shown interest in Kinsler and Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe, so they don’t necessarily have to meet Minnesota’s high demands to add a second baseman, as they have other options.
However, the Dodgers are not afraid to make big moves, and if they view Dozier as the best option available, a sentiment with which many would agree, they could make a serious run at him. The Dodgers also have the prospects to potentially “wow” the Twins, as they could make pitchers Julio Urias or Jose De Leon or first baseman Cody Bellinger the centerpiece of a trade package.
What all this means is that there is no guarantee that Dozier gets traded this offseason. The Twins would certainly like to sell high on him, but they will not force a trade if they don’t get the right offer. If Dozier is traded, the Dodgers are the most likely destination, but for now, the Twins are smart to put a high price on Dozier.