Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Article: Diving Into The Offseason: A Sano Extension?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:35 AM
In the last week, we have considered potential contract extensions for Brian Dozier and Byron Buxton. Today, we will attempt to consider...
Full topic ›

T-Wolves Regular Season Thread

Minnesota Timberwolves Talk Today, 12:35 AM
Let's get this mother started.    
Full topic ›

Article: AFL Report – Week 1: Paul, Jay, Vasquez Stand Ou...

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 09:40 PM
(This report includes the games played through 10/15)Minnesota Twins prospects in the Arizona Fall League are playing on the roster of th...
Full topic ›

Go Bold: Trade for Gerrit Cole

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:35 AM
As we're all discussing ways to improve the pitching staff, one name seems to be forgotten around here... Gerrit Cole.  The Pirates...
Full topic ›

Minor League/prospect rehab updates 2018

Twins Minor League Talk Yesterday, 08:41 PM
Thinking ahead already towards the 2018 season. I'm wondering what the status is for some of the several players who missed all or a port...
Full topic ›

Brian Dozier Is Taking The Lead

He leads off in the lineup. He leads the club in home runs. And most importantly, Brian Dozier is leading by example.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement, USA Today
"Leadership" has always been an ambiguous term in pro sports. It's one of those intangible, immeasurable factors that is impossible to quantify. But no one can deny its import, especially on a team full of inexperienced players still learning how to be big-leaguers.

Many in and around the organization have suggested that a leadership void was, in some way, responsible for the disaster that played out in 2016. Torii Hunter's absence in the clubhouse was felt, says this line of thought.

Upon taking over the front office, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine almost immediately cited this as a need.

You could excuse Dozier for bristling a bit at this talk. All he did last year was go out and hit 42 home runs, a Herculean individual effort amidst a total organizational failure. He did his job and then some. Still, it does appear that he's taken it upon himself to embrace a more vocal and commanding role as clubhouse leader this year.

In spring training, he rarely camped at his corner locker, instead spending nearly all his time moving about and interacting with other players. When the Twins decided to sell key assets at the deadline, he expressed frustration on behalf of the group – "It does suck ... I can speak for everybody and say that." On at least one occasion this summer, he has reached out to a local writer directly to express displeasure over what he viewed as unfair coverage of a young teammate.

I'm not going to say these things are out of character or unprecedented for Dozier, but from my view he's shifted it up a gear noticeably. How much of an impact has it had? Who knows. Again, it's impossible to quantify, and pretty pointless to speculate about, especially from the outside.

But what's been truly striking over the past month is the way Dozier has let his play do the talking. When he griped about the front office, it fell a little flat; the Twins had fallen to seven games out of first place by dropping five of six on a West Coast road trip through LA and Oakland, and Dozier had gone 5-for-29 (.172) over the two series. In the last game before the deadline, he struck out five times in an extra-inning affair they lost by one.

A week later, I pondered whether the Twins could really make a run with Dozier and Joe Mauer, their two most-tenured players who both have contracts expiring after next year. The conclusion was that for this to happen both would need to raise their level of production and turn from role players to driving forces.

Both veterans have done just that, answering the call when things were slipping away. Mauer suddenly reverted to vintage form in August, slashing .336/.405/.458 in 28 games. And Dozier? Just a couple days after announcing "No white flags here," he embarked on an epic power binge with five home runs in six games (the Twins went 5-1). His OPS since the deadline sell is over 1.000.

On Wednesday, with the Twins again on the ropes after losing five of six to the Royals and Rays, Dozier confronted the urgency of their series finale in Tampa: “It’s a game we really need to win."

So what does he do, coming off an 0-fer in Tuesday's dispiriting 2-1 setback? He goes out and rips a leadoff homer, setting the tone in a much-needed 10-6 victory.

These Twins have proven to be, above all, a tremendously resilient team.

They're just following the leader.

  • Cory Engelhardt, Oldgoat_MN, Sconnie and 5 others like this

  • Share:
  • submit to reddit
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

27 Comments

Photo
tarheeltwinsfan
Sep 07 2017 06:16 AM

Good article about a good man.

    • Oldgoat_MN and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

He fills an essential role, and as far as I can see he is the only Veteran who can do this.  It is not in Joe's personality and the leader needs to be someone on the field every day.  I am pleased to read this.

    • stringer bell likes this

It'll be interesting to see what the Twins do with Dozier this offseason. He's going to be coming off of a 2nd 30+ HR season and is on a good deal. I could see them extending him (though that's tough with so many middle infielders coming up), I could see them trading him and I could see them just keeping him. Wouldn't have thought that last one was a possibility before the season but not sure anyone else on the team is ready to step up and assume that role.

    • birdwatcher, gunnarthor, Dman and 3 others like this

 

It'll be interesting to see what the Twins do with Dozier this offseason. He's going to be coming off of a 2nd 30+ HR season and is on a good deal. I could see them extending him (though that's tough with so many middle infielders coming up), I could see them trading him and I could see them just keeping him. Wouldn't have thought that last one was a possibility before the season but not sure anyone else on the team is ready to step up and assume that role.

 

Yep I think they will just keep him as well.  They can't seem to get decent value in trade for him so might as well ride it out.  They can gauge his market value after next season and decide if they want to keep him or run with another young guy.

    • blindeke likes this
Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Sep 07 2017 09:11 AM

If this is who Dozier is going forward and the market remains soft on second basemen, riding out the contract and giving him a QO seems the most logical route to take.

    • Nick Nelson, USAFChief, birdwatcher and 14 others like this

 

If this is who Dozier is going forward and the market remains soft on second basemen, riding out the contract and giving him a QO seems the most logical route to take.

 

Absolutely agree... no reason to deal him unless overwhelmed... 

    • birdwatcher, Riverbrian, puckstopper1 and 3 others like this

 

If this is who Dozier is going forward and the market remains soft on second basemen, riding out the contract and giving him a QO seems the most logical route to take.

 

You'd pay Dozier around 15MM a year or more? That is going to eat a lot of RP or SP money....

    • Thrylos likes this

Hopefully 3 years in a row with 28+ HRs increases his trade value over the winter. We went ad nauseam about the concerns of Dozier last winter (coming off a career year, is he truly a power hitter, yadda yadda), and much to my surprise, bounced back again in the 2nd half to have a good season stat-wise. 

 

I wouldn't actively trade him now that the team is closer to contention than we ever imagined in 2016... But it certainly doesn't hurt to listen and shop around. 

    • Original Whizzinator likes this
Photo
VirginSturgeon
Sep 07 2017 09:40 AM

 

You'd pay Dozier around 15MM a year or more? That is going to eat a lot of RP or SP money....

 

I would have no problem if they extended him for 2 more years at that figure.  Just would be looking to package Gordan in a trade for SP or RP, whatever Falvey and Co. thought was the best options.  Going forward with multiple options for the middle infield will be interesting and a nice problem to have.

    • MN_ExPat and Original Whizzinator like this
Photo
Comrade Bork
Sep 07 2017 09:52 AM
Boy he sure does talk funny though lol. Go get em Dozier!
    • Original Whizzinator likes this
Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Sep 07 2017 10:00 AM

 

You'd pay Dozier around 15MM a year or more? That is going to eat a lot of RP or SP money....

If he's an .800-.850 OPS player in 2018, there's a better than even chance he rejects the QO and someone gives him $70m+ over 4-5 years.

 

And even if you're "stuck" with him, you have an .800-.850 OPS second baseman on a one year contract.

    • diehardtwinsfan and MN_ExPat like this
Photo
Taildragger8791
Sep 07 2017 10:00 AM

 

You'd pay Dozier around 15MM a year or more? That is going to eat a lot of RP or SP money....

 

I doubt Dozier signs the tender unless the market is pretty terrible for 2B. At his age, it'll be his best (and maybe only) opportunity to finally cash in on a multi-year guaranteed free market deal. If he does sign it then the Twins can easily absorb one year at that salary in 2019. Mauer, Perkins and maybe Santana would all be off the books so it shouldn't be that prohibitive. There's a good chance some of that money would have to go towards finding another middle infielder anyways. I'd say it's worth a chance to get that draft pick in return. I say all this assuming his performance next year is essentially a repeat of this season.

Except people are saying to extend Mauer also....
Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Sep 07 2017 10:30 AM

 

Except people are saying to extend Mauer also....

I'd be shocked if Mauer makes even half his current salary in his next contract.

 

But I'm also not sold on resigning him at all.

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher and dbminn like this

 

If he's an .800-.850 OPS player in 2018, there's a better than even chance he rejects the QO and someone gives him $70m+ over 4-5 years.

 

And even if you're "stuck" with him, you have an .800-.850 OPS second baseman on a one year contract.

 

Agreed. So, if we think that's what he'd get, would you sign him for 4-5 more years?

Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Sep 07 2017 11:06 AM

 

Agreed. So, if we think that's what he'd get, would you sign him for 4-5 more years?

Nope.

Photo
Nick Nelson
Sep 07 2017 12:02 PM

Yeah, I think if things continue to go the way they are, the smart plan is to keep Dozier for 2018 and offer a QO. I like him and I'm obviously very impressed with what he's doing right now, but throwing down huge money to lock up him up in his mid-30s doesn't seem like the savvy move with so much quality middle-infield talent rising through the system.

 

Hopefully by the time Dozier's contract expires we'll see some of the younger guys stepping into that vocal leader role. 

At this stage, where the team sits and how they look for the future, I don't see how you can trade Dozier.

I'd be hesitant with an extension, I would agree to a 3 year extension at around 23 mil a year, but I could see Dozier wanting to get a 5 year deal on the open market. Though 69 million gives him peace of mind in the interim. He still should be productive at age 34.

If I was going to extend him, it would be right up to when Buxton and the crew are coming due, I wouldn't want his contract to be the reason we can't sign them.

I think Mauer will re-sign with something around 3/30 to finish he career here.

I think if the Twins are in it again next year, I don't believe money should stop them from signing a pitcher, the fans just won't have it.

    • Don Walcott likes this

 

If this is who Dozier is going forward and the market remains soft on second basemen, riding out the contract and giving him a QO seems the most logical route to take.

Going to be quite the logjam in the infield if the Twins hang onto Dozier. I totally agree that he is trying to personally carry the team into the playoffs. Dozier has always been a gamer, never more than since the break. Credit also to some other guys: Buxton has been hitting about .350, while Polanco, Mauer and Rosario have all surged mightily. Even with a mediocre pitching staff, the Twins could cause some trouble if they get into the tournament. Fun to see. 

 

That said, I'll reiterate that 2017 is NOT the year the Twins go all the way. This bunch is going to hit their peak between 2018 and about 2022, maybe longer, depending if they can find good pitching, which is still 80 percent of the game. The other half is mental. 

    • Original Whizzinator likes this
Photo
Brock Beauchamp
Sep 07 2017 12:56 PM

 

Going to be quite the logjam in the infield if the Twins hang onto Dozier. I totally agree that he is trying to personally carry the team into the playoffs. Dozier has always been a gamer, never more than since the break. Credit also to some other guys: Buxton has been hitting about .350, while Polanco, Mauer and Rosario have all surged mightily. Even with a mediocre pitching staff, the Twins could cause some trouble if they get into the tournament. Fun to see. 

 

That said, I'll reiterate that 2017 is NOT the year the Twins go all the way. This bunch is going to hit their peak between 2018 and about 2022, maybe longer, depending if they can find good pitching, which is still 80 percent of the game. The other half is mental. 

Logjams have a tendency to sort themselves out quickly due to regression, injury, etc. I'm not worried about it.

    • Mike Sixel, stringer bell, Bill Brown69 and 1 other like this

 

Logjams have a tendency to sort themselves out quickly due to regression, injury, etc. I'm not worried about it.

 

I'm still waiting to see an actual log jam with the Twins. A log jam where you can legitimately say... "we got too many good players". 

 

Maybe some day... and wouldn't that be wonderful. 

    • USAFChief, birdwatcher, Mike Sixel and 4 others like this
Photo
Bill Brown69
Sep 07 2017 01:10 PM

 

You'd pay Dozier around 15MM a year or more? That is going to eat a lot of RP or SP money....

 

How about we start talking about building a real winning team, not just a team with a 80-100 mil salary? 

 

I do think that Carl was a tightwad but I also think Jim is a bit more of  fan and is willing to take a little less % to field a team that can win, not Detroit wild spending but reasonable and mostly in line with what was expected when the new ballpark opened. 

 

 

    • Oldgoat_MN likes this

 

How about we start talking about building a real winning team, not just a team with a 80-100 mil salary? 

 

I do think that Carl was a tightwad but I also think Jim is a bit more of  fan and is willing to take a little less % to field a team that can win, not Detroit wild spending but reasonable and mostly in line with what was expected when the new ballpark opened. 

 

I hope you are right! I certainly would expect it to be higher going forward....

    • Dman likes this

76-67 sure would look nice coming out of KC. I hope the "leader" shows up more than he did at Dodger Stadium (the worst team in baseball since August 26 at 1-11  :wacko:  )

 

I like logjams. They always sort themselves out. Depth is not a problem. At least I don't think it is. I haven't really seen any quality depth here for a reference.

 

Or, give up on him, cast him off, and let him be another former Twin that wins a batting title in Colorado. 


Similar Articles


by Seth Stohs , Yesterday, 07:38 PM
Photo


by Nick Nelson , 17 Oct 2017
Photo


by John Bonnes , 15 Oct 2017
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 15 Oct 2017
Photo


by Seth Stohs , 12 Oct 2017
Photo