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Twins Blogosphere


Potential Suitors for Brian Dozier

With the trade deadline just three weeks away, and all signs pointing towards the Twins being sellers at the deadline, contending teams are starting to take stock of what the Twins have to offer. Despite being in a down year (relative to his normal production) and on an expiring contract, Dozier remains one of the top players the Twins have to offer at the deadline.
Image courtesy of © Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
I get that there is still somewhat of an ongoing debate about whether or not it is the best decision for the Twins to move Dozier at the deadline or wait until this winter and give him a qualifying offer. While I agree that both sides of the debate are still up for discussion that is not the point of this article. Instead, we will be looking into which teams have the most to gain by adding Brian Dozier to their roster before the deadline to try and assess what kind of value Dozier might have.


Boston Red Sox

For the past decade, the Boston Red Sox have been a team with very little concern about second base with Dustin Pedroia manning the position. However, with the combination of age and injury, question marks have started to arise for the Red Sox at second. Pedroia has played just three games all season and is currently on the disabled-list with no clear timetable for his return.

With Pedroia out, the Red Sox have used a combination of Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt at second. Nunez is coming off a couple of okay years in 2016 and 2017 (combined 5.1 fWAR), but has been absolutely dreadful this season to the tune of a -0.4 fWAR. On the other hand, Holt has been a better option for the Red Sox at second, but his best attribute to the team is as a utility man so he isn’t exactly their full-time answer for second base.

With Dozier on the team, he provides an immediate upgrade over Nunez. He also brings a lot more upside than does Holt, who has just a career 4.3 fWAR spread across seven Major League seasons.


Los Angeles Dodgers

If there is a contending team that would see the biggest upgrade at the second base position by adding Brian Dozier, it is the Los Angeles Dodgers. A couple of years ago the Dodgers were linked as the team with the most interest in trading for Brian Dozier, but those talks inevitably feel through as the Dodgers decided to go for Logan Forsythe instead.

That move hasn’t panned out too well for them, as Forsythe had an okay season last year, but has been terrible in Dodger blue this year with a .202/.260/.301 slash line to go along with just two home runs, good for a 54 wRC+ (100 being league average). The other main option for the Dodgers at second base has been an aging Chase Utley. Much like Forsythe, Utley has had a down year at the plate with an OPS of .621 and a wRC+ of 71.

Combined the Dodgers have received -0.6 fWAR at the second base position in 2018, which ranks 28th in all of baseball. By comparison, Brian Dozier has been worth 1.0 fWAR this season and is on pace for a league average season despite how poorly it seems like he has played. That alone would be a big upgrade for the Dodgers.


Milwaukee Brewers

Another contending team that could use an upgrade at second base is the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers improved on an 86-win team from a year ago with the additions of Lornezo Cain and Christian Yelich, along with the breakout performances from Josh Hader and Jesus Aguilar. However, one area where the Brewers could use some help is in the middle-infield.

Coming off a strong season in 2016, Jonathan Villar has been nothing but a disappointment over the last two years. This year Villar is hitting .265/.312/.388 with six home runs. He also has just 13 stolen bases this year, so the additional production he has brought on the base paths has been limited.

The Brewers have also tried out Hernan Perez and the recently DFA’d Eric Sogard at second base, but neither has given them much production. With the Brewers squarely in the middle of a divisional race with the Chicago Cubs, they will almost certainly be looking to upgrade one of their weakest areas on the team.


San Francisco Giants

The Giants made a statement this winter that they wanted to compete in 2018 with the additions of Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria. Even though things havenot gone exactly as planned with their pitching staff, the Giants find themselves at 48-45 and just three games out in the NL West and four games back of the second NL Wild Card position.

Joe Panik has served as the team’s second baseman since their World Series run in 2014 but has dealt with some injuries this year. Panik missed all of May after having surgery on his left thumb and was just placed back on the DL on Saturday with a groin injury. Even when Panik has been healthy, he has struggled his way to a .654 OPS.

With an organization that clearly has a mind set on winning now, and a team that is very much in the hunt, it would not be a surprise if the Giants look for a short-term answer at second base as they try to continue their push back into the postseason.


Other Available Second Basemen

Now that we have established that there will be a market for second basemen at the trade deadline, the other thing to consider is what other second basemen are available for teams to choose from. Unfortunately for the Twins, the list of seemingly available second basemen is pretty strong.

Scooter Gennett – The Cincinnati Reds second basemen has been one of the better players at that position in major league baseball over the past couple of seasons. So far this year Scooter Genett has a .322/.366/.509 slash line with 14 home runs, and ranks fifth among all second basemen with a 2.9 fWAR. Gennett is under control through 2019, but with the Reds being unlikely to compete next season they should be looking to move him now to maximize his value.

Jed Lowrie – The A’s have exceeded many people’s expectations this year, and a big part of that has been the play from Jed Lowrie, whose 3.3 fWAR ranks second among all MLB second basemen. The A’s have gotten hot of late and pulled within six games of the Mariners for the second AL Wild Card spot. If the A’s can stay hot over the next few weeks that will be great news for the Twins as they will look to be buyers instead of sellers at the deadline, thus taking Lowrie off the market.

Starlin Castro – Another second baseman who could be on the move by the end of this month is Starlin Castro. If nothing else, the salary conscious Marlins will be looking to get his contract off their books. Despite being in his eighth MLB season, Castro still is only 28 and under control for $11 million in 2019 with a team option of $16 million in 2020 ($1 million buyout). For every team except the Marlins this is a pretty affordable contract for a player who is still producing at a quality level.

Given these circumstances, I wouldn’t be surprised if we have to wait until right up before the deadline before Brian Dozier is traded away (if he does get traded). I think buying teams will be waiting to see what happens with Scooter Gennett and Jed Lowrie before they make a move on Brian Dozier. I also think the Twins might hold off on Dozier as long as they can, hoping he might get on one of his patented hot streaks and increase his trade value before the deadline.


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123 Comments

If the Dodgers offer Will Smith, then the Twins should start to listen.I saw some comments about Yadier Alvarez on MBLTradeRumors, but he looks like a project at 22 and hasn't pitched many innings this season.

The Dodgers show, imo, one of the issues with "efficiency".....

 

Sure, they have more / better prospects since they didn't trade for Dozier, and spent less, but to what end, exactly? What could have been last year, or how would this year already be different, if they had acquired Dozier instead.

 

IMO, it shows how efficiency should not be THE measure of every decision for a MLB team. It's not like they are short of resources....but they are of 2B.

    • USAFChief, h2oface, DocBauer and 2 others like this

Trade Dozier to the Marlins for Castro.

 

Then, when Castro returns, we'll get calls like, "And Castro make a perfect throw to Castro who laid down a terrific tag to get the runner at second!"

    • USAFChief likes this

Trade to the Dodgers, and get red hot, get a ring, and get a good free agent contract. Bad idea to stay with the Twins anyway, for a number of reasons. I didn't want Dozier to be traded last off season, but now, because of the reality of the teams performance, of which Dozier is a big part, it is time for all to part, and frankly, for Dozier, there are better options than staying here.

    • DocBauer likes this

 

The Dodgers show, imo, one of the issues with "efficiency".....

 

Sure, they have more / better prospects since they didn't trade for Dozier, and spent less, but to what end, exactly? What could have been last year, or how would this year already be different, if they had acquired Dozier instead.

 

IMO, it shows how efficiency should not be THE measure of every decision for a MLB team. It's not like they are short of resources....but they are of 2B.

 

Utley and Forsythe have been playing like Dozier, or worse. But you gotta pitch that Dozier is automatic and a "crusher" the second half of the season. 

Jonathan Villar has a slightly lower OPS than Dozier, but slightly more WAR.
For all intents and purposes, they've been roughly the same player.
Not sure Milwaukee would view Dozier as an upgrade.
    • Thrylos and Mike Sixel like this

I think MILW is looking for Kyle Gibson or Lance Lynn more than Brian Dozier....but I could be wrong.

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Foghorn Leghorn
Jul 10 2018 05:42 PM
It’s time to move on from Doze. Get some pitching specs.
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Andrew Thares
Jul 10 2018 05:42 PM

Jonathan Villar has a slightly lower OPS than Dozier, but slightly more WAR.
For all intents and purposes, they've been roughly the same player.
Not sure Milwaukee would view Dozier as an upgrade.


Depends which WAR you use. According to Fangraphs Dozier has a lead of 1.0 to 0.6. Dozier also has a much better track record than Villar.

So I guess if you’re the Brewers you have to ask yourself who would you rather have playing second base for you during a pennant run, Brian Dozier or Jonathan Villar? For me I’m taking Dozier in a heartbeat.
    • USAFChief, Mike Sixel, Twins33 and 4 others like this

Dozier will give us very little in return. He is 31, having a down year, there are a lot of good second baseman in the game and he is just a rental.Sorry to say, but teams aren't lining up for him and we are not in a position of strength

 

Dozier will give us very little in return. He is 31, having a down year, there are a lot of good second baseman in the game and he is just a rental.Sorry to say, but teams aren't lining up for him and we are not in a position of strength

 

And? 

    • Thrylos likes this

Got to add the Nats, Cards, and Indians to the equation.Plus any other NL contender can use a RH bat off the bench.

 

The Phillies called up Plouffe today.

    • caninatl04 and Doctor Wu like this

 

Depends which WAR you use. According to Fangraphs Dozier has a lead of 1.0 to 0.6. Dozier also has a much better track record than Villar. So I guess if you’re the Brewers you have to ask yourself who would you rather have playing second base for you during a pennant run, Brian Dozier or Jonathan Villar? For me I’m taking Dozier in a heartbeat.

 

The real question for them would be how much better is Dozier going to make us?  

and

Do we do a one year rental on a player who is having a down year?Generally speaking, the team dealing such a player is not in a position of strength.

 

And? 

 

What troubles you about my post?

Be specific please and I will answer you.

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Lee-The-Twins-Fan
Jul 10 2018 05:53 PM

I don't see the Brewers getting Dozier. Would he be an upgrade? Yes, but not enough of an upgrade to give multiple prospects to the Twins, that other teams may be willing to do.  Dodgers or Red Sox, yes.  Dozier only has a .223 averages and a .711 OPS, very similar to Villar's numbers. 

 

If Dozier gets hot, and the Twins get hot, they may re-think the whole sell-mode.

    • ewen21 likes this

 

Got to add the Nats, Cards, and Indians to the equation.Plus any other NL contender can use a RH bat off the bench.

 

The Phillies called up Plouffe today.

 

The fact is Dozier couldn't fetch much in last year's market and he is going to fetch probably less this year.

We saw the offer last year.What can we honestly expect when the guy has had a down year?

    • Sconnie likes this
Since at the current time Dozier is not worth a QO, unless you think weare catching the Indians, sell him for the best offer

 

The real question for them would be how much better is Dozier going to make us?  

and

Do we do a one year rental on a player who is having a down year?Generally speaking, the team dealing such a player is not in a position of strength.

 

The buyer is the one trying to add pieces for a deep playoff run, so that automatically puts the seller on the higher ground.The Twins don't have a need to trade Dozier.They are the ones that have to evaluate if the the returned player is worth parting with a fan favorite (down year or not) to improve the system long term. If teams aren't lining up for Dozier, it doesn't hurt them to just let him play out the year.  

    • MN_ExPat likes this

 

The fact is Dozier couldn't fetch much in last year's market and he is going to fetch probably less this year.

We saw the offer last year.What can we honestly expect when the guy has had a down year?

 

So? 

 

The Twins will be better off without Dozier than with Dozier taking reps from a prospect or someone who they need to evaluate in the second half.

    • SF Twins Fan and caninatl04 like this

 

Since at the current time Dozier is not worth a QO, unless you think weare catching the Indians, sell him for the best offer

 

Unless that best offer is organizational filler that won't even be in the system in a year ... In that case, pass.I'd rather watch him play for two more months.

    • mngopherguy likes this

Depends which WAR you use. According to Fangraphs Dozier has a lead of 1.0 to 0.6. Dozier also has a much better track record than Villar.So I guess if you’re the Brewers you have to ask yourself who would you rather have playing second base for you during a pennant run, Brian Dozier or Jonathan Villar? For me I’m taking Dozier in a heartbeat.


I might lean Dozier, but not enough to give up a real prospect.
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ChrisKnutson
Jul 10 2018 06:03 PM

If the Dodgers offer Will Smith, then the Twins should start to listen.I saw some comments about Yadier Alvarez on MBLTradeRumors, but he looks like a project at 22 and hasn't pitched many innings this season.


As long as we don’t toy with him as a starter like the Dodgers did, the Twins “should” be getting a younger version of Raisel Iglesias.

 

So? 

 

The Twins will be better off without Dozier than with Dozier taking reps from a prospect or someone who they need to evaluate in the second half.

 

YES, we actually are in agreement here.

 

Remember the Dozier thread last year?Seems hardly worth it to have a reprisal of what happened there. I would be interested to know what kind of prospect we'd get.I actually agree with beckmt.Hard to imagine doing much better than the QO.THat isn't what I want the Twins to do because I feel Dozier has to be moved at this point.He is not a fit here 

 

So? 

 

The Twins will be better off without Dozier than with Dozier taking reps from a prospect or someone who they need to evaluate in the second half.

 

That's certainly the most efficient approach, but I can't ever get on board with it.I'd rather watch two more months of Dozier than two months of Gordon making mistakes in the field and playing 56 wRC+ ball just to get his feet wet.

 

Unless, of course, I'm getting a return with a better than average chance of impacting the big club.  

I am trying to think of the opposition GM and why that person would want Dozier.He has 1.2 WAR which actually shocks me.He is batting 223 with a 309 OPS, He is slugging 402. He is 1.2 runs above replacement, but he is -2 runs against average.  

 

This is not a man who is going to be a difference maker.He is not a clutch hitter. He is just a good player and he is not batting like a good player right now.So if you ask me about Dozier I say how about Escobar. 


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