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What's Holding Up The Dozier Trade?

For weeks, the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers have been in an apparent stalemate regarding a Brian Dozier trade.

What's keeping these talks from reaching fruition?
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel, USA Today
Over the past month or so, we've seen reports from numerous outlets suggesting that the Dodgers are making prospect Jose De Leon available as the main piece in a potential deal, and that the two sides are in disagreement over what would come packaged alongside the right-hander.

The latest tidbit, a Thursday tweet from USA TODAY baseball scribe Bob Nightingale, affirms (unsurprisingly) that Los Angeles remains "heavy favorites" for Dozier but adds that the "Twins continue to insist they need more than Jose De Leon to move him."



Now, what Nightingale is probably saying is that the Twins are demanding at least one more top-tier prospect in addition to De Leon. But if we take the words at face value, there is an implication that the Dodgers are offering nothing beyond the 24-year-old. Nothing of note, anyway.

And that... well, that'd be a bit ridiculous.

Let's turn the clock back to the 2016 trade deadline. Seeking to bulk up for the stretch run, the Dodgers swung a deal with the Oakland Athletics to acquire starter Rich Hill along with outfielder Josh Reddick. In exchange, LA gave up three of its top pitching prospects: Grant Holmes, Frankie Montas and Jharel Cotton.

Both Hill and Reddick became free agents at year's end, so in that instance, the Dodgers were willing to give up three coveted young arms for a pair of short-term rentals. Granted, no one among the aforementioned trio can quite measure up to De Leon, but they were pretty damn good prospects. And here we're talking about Dozier, an elite power hitting middle infielder in his prime with two full years of control remaining.

With that context in mind, plus the return that the White Sox recently received when trading Adam Eaton to the Nationals a month ago, the Twins would be crazy to give up Dozier for one unproven player. Being that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are both essentially newbies on the job, the last thing they want to do is get swindled when dealing away the team's best player.

So, the reluctance to pull the trigger makes sense, in light of these facts. But time is running out.

For Dozier, this has undoubtedly been an agonizing couple of months. He's not ignorant to the business of baseball, but hanging in a state of complete limbo as he is can't be fun. An article from Mike Berardino in the Pioneer Press earlier this week quoted a source as saying that a final decision would be coming soon "out of respect" for the veteran infielder.

But what does that really mean? If another week passes and the Dodgers still haven't budged, Falvey and Levine say "OK, no deal" and that's that? Even if LA comes back at the end of the month – after futilely scouring for another decent option at second – and offers to meet the previous demands, the Twins are going to say no?

It's a murky situation, to be sure. Signs still point to a trade being announced quite soon but with each passing day, the chances of Dozier remaining in Minnesota get a little bit better.

I'm not sure how I would feel about that. I've been a vocal proponent of trading Dozier for De Leon since before the season ended. But if the Dodgers are truly set on low-balling the Twins for a premier player – and that would be inexplicable because LA truly needs Dozier – then I could hardly fault the new regime for standing pat.

One way or another, it sounds like we'll have an answer within a few days.

As we continue to play the waiting game, here are some diversions to keep you busy (and educated):
  • Whenever any significant news relating to this situation emerges, you can bet it will posted to the Dozier Trade Discussion thread in our forum. There are currently 73 pages of conversation, but skip to the end for the newest submissions.
  • Last month I wrote an in-depth profile on De Leon, who is all but certain to headline any eventual package. As you will see, there is much to like about the Puerto Rican strikeout machine.

  • Sconnie, dbminn and BuxtonBandwagon like this

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96 Comments

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theBOMisthebomb
Jan 05 2017 07:10 PM
Until something actually happens and a deal gets done this has become boring.
    • ScrapTheNickname, Halsey Hall, bluechipper and 6 others like this
yawn....more 1 for 1 talk again. Twins are NEVER going to go for that no way.
    • Jerr likes this
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specialiststeve
Jan 05 2017 10:32 PM

Not sure why time is running out...... Ifthey get what they want and need okay if not we move on to spring training withthe understanding of what we want but are notgoing to keep discussing. If they call and say okay we will do it under your terms next month I am guessing we say okay...

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HitInAPinch
Jan 06 2017 05:24 AM

I'd say the holdup is the Twins have a MLB-proven player to offer for a position of need for the Buyer.And the Buyer is offering unproven players at the MLB level. 

 

I'd be as hesitant as Falvey.

    • gunnarthor, brvama, Dantes929 and 1 other like this
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The Wise One
Jan 06 2017 05:32 AM

There really is no deadline for the trade. All along they have said that they wanted to be blown away. When that gets met, Dozier is gone.

    • brvama, specialiststeve and blindeke like this
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Don't Feed the Greed Guy
Jan 06 2017 06:41 AM

"An article from Mike Berardino in the Pioneer Press earlier this week quoted a source as saying that a final decision would be coming soon "out of respect" for the veteran infielder."

 

I, as a fan, would like this settled by Twins Fest, where our family has had great interactions with Dozier. Makes sense that fans, labor, and management want the halls of Target Center to be "friendly confines" by the end of January. 

I remain skeptical a deal gets done. I fully agree that the Twins should not trade Dozier for one unproven player - or, as is more likely, that one unproven player plus a couple of AAAA players. He's worth more than that.

 

I just have a hard time believing that somehow things will change now that it's January. Why would the Dodgers budge? Nobody else seems willing to pay the price for Dozier, so why would the team that needs him most suddenly pony up more when they weren't willing to do so earlier?

    • d-mac likes this

We can only hope that the Braves as a dark horse spur the Dodgers to offer more or the Braves offer enough to make it happen.  If not, the new front office is right to hold on to him.

Just your game of chicken, though I still somewhat believe the offer is closer to what DaveW claims it is, than what national media is saying.

Dodgers have a huge hole at 2B.They would like to fill it cheap, is not going to happen and it may not be Dozier, but there is more pressure on the Dodgers than on the Twins to make it happen. 

Giants have improved, as have some other clubs.Don't forget that if Dodgers fall behind early and have issues with LHP that the pressure will be intense and prices will go very high for any fix.My guess is the Dodgers make a move before spring training, they are just waiting for the prices to drop.

    • gunnarthor and blindeke like this

 

We can only hope that the Braves as a dark horse spur the Dodgers to offer more or the Braves offer enough to make it happen.  If not, the new front office is right to hold on to him.

 

I'd like to believe that, but it just isn't plausible.First, this is clearly the MO of the new Twins' FO, in which they leak an informal "kicking the tires" call by another team as "very serious interest in Dozier." It has happened at least 3 or 4 times now, including with the Braves previously. I'm sure the Braves and Twins have had discussions at some point, but I'd bet a lot of money it is basically more in the tenor of "if the Dodgers are being unreasonable, how much less unreasonable would we have to be to maybe get Dozier" not, "here's a quality offer for Dozier." Second, I just don't buy that the Braves would pay that much for two years of Dozier when they aren't likely to compete next year, and probably not in 2018 either. If they were two more years into their rebuild, sure I could see them doing that. The only wild card is maybe they are convinced they could get him to sign an extension relatively cheaply given Dozier's connections to the Atlanta area, but that would be pretty speculative and risky. 

 

I really think this is more smoke than fire. Sadly.

    • d-mac likes this

There needs to be a deadline. The Dodgers will need to find a 2B if Dozier is unavailable. 

 

The Twins may want to add a 2B/SS if Dozier is traded. 

 

Those potential options might not be there for either team as other teams lock down their roster more and more each day. 

 

The longer it goes the more handicapped everybody becomes. 

 

 

    • glunn, Oldgoat_MN, HitInAPinch and 1 other like this

 

There needs to be a deadline.

 

The longer it goes the more handicapped everybody becomes. 

 

That's exactly how a game of chicken works.

    • ashburyjohn, glunn, Dantes929 and 2 others like this

Remember when Ryan was in charge and there was never any leaks and we all complained about how the FO wouldn't use the media?  That was fun.

    • Steve Lein, Craig Arko, Oldgoat_MN and 1 other like this

 

I'd like to believe that, but it just isn't plausible.First, this is clearly the MO of the new Twins' FO, in which they leak an informal "kicking the tires" call by another team as "very serious interest in Dozier." It has happened at least 3 or 4 times now, including with the Braves previously. I'm sure the Braves and Twins have had discussions at some point, but I'd bet a lot of money it is basically more in the tenor of "if the Dodgers are being unreasonable, how much less unreasonable would we have to be to maybe get Dozier" not, "here's a quality offer for Dozier." Second, I just don't buy that the Braves would pay that much for two years of Dozier when they aren't likely to compete next year, and probably not in 2018 either. If they were two more years into their rebuild, sure I could see them doing that. The only wild card is maybe they are convinced they could get him to sign an extension relatively cheaply given Dozier's connections to the Atlanta area, but that would be pretty speculative and risky. 

 

I really think this is more smoke than fire. Sadly.

 

The Braves added 28 million in Starting Pitching this off season and they were rumored to be having serious discussion about acquiring Chris Sale. I think the Braves may think they are closer to competitive than others do. 

 

I understand that Colon and Dickey were one year contracts but they could have tossed Wisler and Blair into the rotation. 

 

The offense would certainly look more formidable if they acquired Dozier and... how about Todd Frazier as well. 

 

 

    • glunn and HitInAPinch like this

 

That's exactly how a game of chicken works.

flickin-chicken-game.jpg

    • USAFChief, glunn, nytwinsfan and 3 others like this

What's holding up the trade?  Who knows.  For all we know there isn't a serious Dozier trade on the table.  Dodgers-Twins may have never progressed to any stage worth discussing, in spite of us going crazy about it.

    • spycake likes this

 

What's holding up the trade?  For all we know there isn't a serious Dozier trade on the table.  Dodgers-Twins may have never progressed  to any stage worth discussing, in spite of us going crazy about it.

 

I don't think that's true at all. I just think there's a difference between what the Dodgers view as Dozier's worth and the Twins. WAY too much talk about this and way too many reports.

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Nick Nelson
Jan 06 2017 10:10 AM

 

What's holding up the trade?  Who knows.  For all we know there isn't a serious Dozier trade on the table.  Dodgers-Twins may have never progressed to any stage worth discussing, in spite of us going crazy about it.

I think we can say with a high degree of confidence that this is not the case.

 

I don't think that's true at all. I just think there's a difference between what the Dodgers view as Dozier's worth and the Twins. WAY too much talk about this and way too many reports.

 

If there is a huge difference between both sides, then no deal was ever close.  This means we have been talking about a non-issue.  

 

The reports state that the Twins and Dodgers have discussed things.  That's it.  They are not close to a deal.  Therefore, we have been wasting our time on this.  

 

If there is a huge difference between both sides, then no deal was ever close.  This means we have been talking about a non-issue.  

 

The reports state that the Twins and Dodgers have discussed things.  That's it.  They are not close to a deal.  Therefore, we have been wasting our time on this.  

 

Well obviously they're not close to a deal, otherwise it would have been done.

 

But you said there "isn't a serious Dodgers offer on the table." From multiple reports the Dodgers are offering DeLeon, and more than likely some other pieces (per Ken Rosenthal). That is a serious offer.

 

Is it good enough? Absolutely not. And I remain convinced a deal won't happen. But that doesn't mean there aren't an offers on the table. 

 

If I'm right then yes, we'll likely have wasted our time.

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clutterheart
Jan 06 2017 11:33 AM

 

But time is running out

 

Why?

If it doesn't happen now, it can happen later.  Maybe a contender's 2Bman breaks a knee in Spring training.  

Self Imposed deadlines are just that and can broken self imposedly

 

    • nytwinsfan likes this
The Twins need to get more than De Leon for Dozier. They are concerned about fan reaction to a trade of their best player after a horrible season.

The Dodge know that there are no other serious suitors. They like Dozier, but not so much as to sell the farm for him. There are other teams they could trade with.
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Nick Nelson
Jan 06 2017 01:02 PM

 

Why?

If it doesn't happen now, it can happen later.  Maybe a contender's 2Bman breaks a knee in Spring training.  

Self Imposed deadlines are just that and can broken self imposedly

Right. This was more or less addressed two paragraphs later. 

I meant it in more of a general sense. Days left until this self-imposed deadline, a few weeks until TwinsFest and Diamond Awards, spring training kicking off shortly thereafter. The clock is ticking. 

My thoughts:  By the Twins putting a deadline on the deal they can give themselves leverage.  Let's say the Twins told the Dodgers Tuesday at noon is the deadline.  The Dodgers don't offer anything more and the Twins walk.  It shows the Dodgers the Twins are serious about needing more and won't just fold and get a deal done for the sake of making a deal.  

 

That's when the Dodgers are stuck and have to make a real offer to get Dozier.  

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diehardtwinsfan
Jan 06 2017 04:23 PM

I'm not sure how much leverage the deadline gives them. The Twins want the final offer. If they aren't happy with said offer, they keep Dozier. I'm sure LA can come back and offer them De Leon, Alvarez, Stewart, and Bellinger (they won't, it's an example) and the Twins will without question jump if that's the case. But... they need to do other things this offseason.I get that too. 

 

What this really means is that the price will most definitely be higher in a month if they don't pony up what it takes to get him now.

    • glunn, brvama and HitInAPinch like this

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