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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.

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96 Comments

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Brock Beauchamp
Jan 07 2017 10:30 PM

 

And hair. HOF hair.

That hair transcends the Hall of Fame.

    • ChiTownTwinsFan, snepp, Platoon and 1 other like this

 

Here we go; this.

 

Certainly not worth arguing over. I read it as an elite, power hitting middle infielder. 

 

Again, no matter what, I just don't think he's earned the term "elite". Lead a team to something that matters and then I'll call you elite.

 

So, Mike Trout, not elite?

 

Just curious where we draw the lines of definition here.

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this

 

That hair transcends the Hall of Fame.

 

Some points are irrefutable.

 

 

As Chitown can attest.

    • ChiTownTwinsFan and Platoon like this

 

It seems to me that the Dodgers are pretty set on not trading to many minor league assets beyond DeLeon to improve their offense against LH pitching. I could see them soon shifting back to a trade for Braun which they match up very well with and filling their hole at 2B with a smaller move.

Ryan Braun? The guy who is owed $80 million over the next 4 years?

Well, of the teams that can afford it, your team is certainly one.

    • gunnarthor likes this

They want Braun at $20 million a year over Dozier at less than half of that?Good luck to them. 

 

Dozier led middle infielders in home runs if you take 2016 away and just use from 2013 to 2015.  

 

But not by double digits.

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ashburyjohn
Jan 08 2017 11:27 AM

But not by double digits.

"Dozier led middle infielders in home runs in the period 2013 to 2015, and extended that lead to double digits over four years with his 2016 production."

 

Falr?

 

Why are we arguing about this? There isn't any controversy that home run power is the reason Dozier is a trade chip at all. There was a little mixup only when the word "elite" was applied, as to whether it meant the player as a whole, or just his home run power among second basemen.

    • Platoon likes this

 

"Dozier led middle infielders in home runs in the period 2013 to 2015, and extended that lead to double digits over four years with his 2016 production."

 

Falr?

 

Why are we arguing about this? There isn't any controversy that home run power is the reason Dozier is a trade chip at all. There was a little mixup only when the word "elite" was applied, as to whether it meant the player as a whole, or just his home run power among second basemen.

 

The original statement was, "Dozier leads others at his by position by double digits at HR." My response was, "But that double digit lead is only due to one year of unusual production." After that we went a circular route back to my original statement due to someone misinterpreting my point. So why are we arguing? I have no idea.

 

The point is, his HR lead is not head and shoulders above his comps due to being a future HOFer. The big lead is due to his career year. This is worth pointing out. The distinction here is huge.

The original statement was, "Dozier leads others at his by position by double digits at HR." My response was, "But that double digit lead is only due to one year of unusual production." After that we went a circular route back to my original statement due to someone misinterpreting my point. So why are we arguing? I have no idea.
 
The point is, his HR lead is not head and shoulders above his comps due to being a future HOFer. The big lead is due to his career year. This is worth pointing out. The distinction here is huge.


With all due respect...you don't have a point.

If you are taking out Dozier's best year, then take out his competition's best year as well.
    • Brock Beauchamp, ChiTownTwinsFan, ashburyjohn and 5 others like this
Photo
Dozier's Glorious Hair
Jan 08 2017 12:20 PM

 

And hair. HOF hair.

 

:cool:

    • ChiTownTwinsFan, ashburyjohn, USAFChief and 2 others like this

 

The original statement was, "Dozier leads others at his by position by double digits at HR." My response was, "But that double digit lead is only due to one year of unusual production." After that we went a circular route back to my original statement due to someone misinterpreting my point. So why are we arguing? I have no idea.

 

The point is, his HR lead is not head and shoulders above his comps due to being a future HOFer. The big lead is due to his career year. This is worth pointing out. The distinction here is huge.

 

I understand your point... and I wouldn't call it an argument because that sounds so... I like to call it a discussion...

 

If you are going to take out Brian Dozier's best year... You have to take out the other second baseman's best year as well to be fair. 

 

Cano shouldn't get to use his 39 last year. 

Gyorko shouldn't get to use his 30 last year 

Kinsler shouldn't get his 28 last year 

Tulowitski should lose his 25 in 2014

and Hanley should lose his 30 last year

 

After you inflict the same damage on everybody else that you want to inflict on Dozier... We are back to Double Digits again. 

    • ChiTownTwinsFan, USAFChief and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

 

With all due respect...you don't have a point.

If you are taking out Dozier's best year, then take out his competition's best year as well.

 

That's not how you would do it.If you were removing peak performances, you would then need to project the average over the remaining years in the data for that year you just removed.You would not simply just remove the data, you would replace the data with normalized data.

 

So yes, I have a point....

    • jimmer likes this

 

I understand your point... and I wouldn't call it an argument because that sounds so... I like to call it a discussion...

 

If you are going to take out Brian Dozier's best year... You have to take out the other second baseman's best year as well to be fair. 

 

Cano shouldn't get to use his 39 last year. 

Gyorko shouldn't get to use his 30 last year 

Kinsler shouldn't get his 28 last year 

Tulowitski should lose his 25 in 2014

and Hanley should lose his 30 last year

 

After you inflict the same damage on everybody else that you want to inflict on Dozier... We are back to Double Digits again. 

 

Except that's not how you would do it.

 

If you wanted to do this sort of analysis, this would be the process:

 

1) Remove the peak year's data for each player.

2) Determine the yearly average for each player using the data left in the data set.

3) Project that average onto the year you just removed.

 

This would be a very circular process which would yield the same point I already raised.

You don't account for "outliers" in data by removing them. You account for outliers by assuming the data would have been "normal" instead. In other words, you replace the outlier with the average. If you simply remove the data altogether, you create another outlier! Zero is an outlier too.

 

 

Yep, that exists. It's still not the right way to do it.

 

The way I outlined is one of the many better ways to deal with outliers, but it takes more work than the elementary grade school level link that this is.

Another way to deal with outliers is to take the mean average, take the median average, and then make a new average based on those results. This method smooths things out nicely without actually removing or changing any data (it simply reduces the weight of outliers) but works best with larger data sets.

    • gunnarthor likes this
What's actually holding up the Dozier trade?

Attached Image: image.jpeg

And the testosterone level contained therein.
    • WLFINN and Tom Froemming like this

Except that's not how you would do it.

If you wanted to do this sort of analysis, this would be the process:

1) Remove the peak year's data for each player.
2) Determine the yearly average for each player using the data left in the data set.
3) Project that average onto the year you just removed.

This would be a very circular process which would yield the same point I already raised.

You don't account for "outliers" in data by removing them. You account for outliers by assuming the data would have been "normal" instead. In other words, you replace the outlier with the average. If you simply remove the data altogether, you create another outlier! Zero is an outlier too.


Do you normalize the low?

 

That's not how you would do it.If you were removing peak performances, you would then need to project the average over the remaining years in the data for that year you just removed.You would not simply just remove the data, you would replace the data with normalized data.

 

So yes, I have a point....

You really don't because you're only taking it out on one person while making him compete against everyone else.

 

That said, if we changed Dozier's 42 HR to 25 HR, he's second only to Cano and still has a double digit lead over everyone else. 

You really don't because you're only taking it out on one person while making him compete against everyone else.

That said, if we changed Dozier's 42 HR to 25 HR, he's second only to Cano and still has a double digit lead over everyone else.

Normalize Cano's 39 like he suggests and Dozier is back on top
    • gunnarthor likes this
The other question is are we sure this last season was a significant outlier for Dozier? Very possible he's steadily built to this and could remain high for the next 2-3 years.
    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this

 

Do you normalize the low?

 

Entry level statistics teaches that you get rid of the highest and lowest numbers. But what if either of the highest or lowest numbers are within a standard deviation of the norm? You've started to remove valid data just to deal with some other number that is skewing things. And you're not *really* dealing with that outlier data by this process, you're just finding a way to feel more equitable about removing it. But getting the right story from data isn't about feeling fair about it. (And it's also not about removing data you don't like, it's about finding some other way to deal with it).

Not looking at Dozier's competition, here are the various methods discussed for dealing with Dozier over the past four years:

 

- Straight up HR/yr average: 27.75 (111 total)

- Mean + Median HR/yr average: 26.63 (106 total)

- Replacing highest and lowest with the average: 24.25 (97 total)

- Replacing the outlier with the average: 23 (92 total)

- Removing the outlier altogether: 23 (69 total)

- Removing highest and lowest: 25.5 (51 total)

If I were making a recommendation, I would use the 26/yr projection as it's the system that does not ignore his great year, it simply weighs it less. If 2016 becomes his norm, then that will work itself out over time in the calculation.

 

With Dozier's small sample size the story is about the same regardless of the method you use -- 42 home runs is a hell of a lot more than anyone would have expected in 2016. It would thus be a gamble to expect it in 2017, but you can take ~25 home runs to the bank until he shows that 2016 is repeatable.

You could also use regression analysis to deal with outliers, but I'll only get into what that indicates for Dozier if anyone is interested. (It's 23.39/yr.)

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Nick Nelson
Jan 08 2017 01:55 PM

 

The other question is are we sure this last season was a significant outlier for Dozier? Very possible he's steadily built to this and could remain high for the next 2-3 years.

Right. Being that Dozier's career year is also his most recent year, it's more relevant than others to assessing his current value. 

 

There's no reason to be contorting and doing logical somersaults to suggest Dozier's power is not elite for his position. You can quibble with the sentence construction (my bad) but it's not a disputable conclusion. Dozier is THE power hitting middle infielder in the majors right now. He just came like 2 HR short of setting the all-time record for HR by a second baseman, geez.

    • Brock Beauchamp, Riverbrian and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

 

You really don't because you're only taking it out on one person while making him compete against everyone else.

 

That said, if we changed Dozier's 42 HR to 25 HR, he's second only to Cano and still has a double digit lead over everyone else. 

No one is arguing that if you take away Dozier's 42 that he isn't worth anything. The point is he isn't as far ahead as everyone else as is being suggested (at least until Dozier proves he can do it again). He isn't in that "super human" territory as is being suggested (at least not yet). 

 

What's actually holding up the Dozier trade?

attachicon.gifimage.jpeg

And the testosterone level contained therein.

No. Falvey and Levine are "rowing the boat". Unfortunately they see all too well where the Twins were (and don't want to be there), but they have no clue where they are going.


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