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Article: Diving Into The Offseason: A Dozier Extension?

brian dozer jason kipnis ian kinsler dustin pedroia robinson cano
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#21 wsnydes

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 05:55 AM

 

It is funny to me that so often we hear about how people think that because the Twins got a new stadium that they would be able to keep their stars. Brian Dozier is a star, and yet of the first six comments, five of them say to just let him go elsewhere. 

 

And while I understand the thinking for any player over 32, and I get that Polanco can move to 2B and Nick Gordon could be ready for SS in 2019... I wonder if people realize just how good Dozier has been. Even if he takes one WAR off over the next couple of years, there's value in having him the next couple of years. 

 

I would LOVE to see them sign him to just a two-year extension, but there's no reason for him to do that. Are you going to get 4 WAR out of Polanco or Gordon in 2019 and 2020? Will you get that between the two of them? I don't know...

 

I'm not saying that the answer 100% is to sign him to an extension... but I don't think the answer can be not to just because he is going to be 32 (or 35 at the end). 

Its not that I don't recognize how good Dozier has been, because I know how good he's been.That's why I wanted him dealt for pitching.I'm looking from a big picture aspect.I think it's reasonable for him to seek a 4 year deal and he'll get paid handsomely with it.A midmarket team can't really afford to sign a guy to a deal like that and then still try to extend young and emerging core players like this team has and then still build most of a pitching staff.I want to do what I can to keep Buxton, Sano and Berrios and if that costs me one Dozier, then so be it.The previously mentioned three should be in a Twins uniform long past Dozier.For me, it has less to do with Dozier's age as it does keeping the young core together.

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#22 USAFChief

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 05:57 AM

I like me some Doz, but I think you gotta let him walk after '18.
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#23 TL

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 06:37 AM

I gotta say, the grass isn’t always greener. Dozier is putting up 4+ WAR and has turned himself into a dangerous hitter. Who knows if Polanco and Gordon will ever reach that. But the other thing to consider is that we also don’t have a real DH (assuming Sano can stick and 3B or slide to 1B in 2019). If one of Gordon or Polanco can prove to handle short and the other 2B then Dozier becomes a solid option for DH as his defense declines. That said, 3 year extension for me.
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#24 Cory Engelhardt

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 06:51 AM

I think you do have to consider the idea of an extension. Dozier has been really amazing, and the part of baseball when it comes to salary is you ALWAYS pay for the production that has already happened, rather than the potential production ahead, at least with 2nd contracts (in my opinion.)

 

Dozier still has at least a few good years ahead of him. I believe that more after this year than I did even after the 42 homerun season a year ago, mostly because he started to show power to all fields rather than just as a pull hitter.

 

I also like how you pointed out that Dozier didn't get great offers for trade after this past offseason. I do believe that if 2-3 teams had been in the market for a 2nd baseman a trade would have been made. But if the Dodgers were the only team talking trade last offseason, the deal/offer that was necessary to move Dozier never was put on the table. And a good-enough offer with only 1 year left for Dozier isn't going to be there this offseason. If you are trading him now, you are basically selling him for less than his value to the Twins for 2018. And Gordon certainly isn't ready to start the year with the MLB club is he?

 

I would rip up his 2018 contract and offer a 3 year extension with an option spanning the years of 2018, 2019, 2020 and the option year of 2021 that would trigger with games played. I would offer him a higher salary (18, 18, 17 and an option year for 15 million) and hope that he takes it. If he does, GREAT! If his agent comes back and demands 4 years with an option (so, 6 more years potentially) I would have a hard time agreeing to that, but the salary would be lower per year more than likely, (say 14, 15, 15, 14 and option year or 13) and the option year would probably not have a huge buyout number.

 

That said, if the agent comes out and demands a 5 year deal for 18-20 per season, (which he has earned if you are paying for past production) I probably do go into 2018 being the last year of his deal and plan to offer him the QO after this upcoming season. Then he has another year if he agrees to the QO, or the Twins get a draft pick for him. We'll see.

 

Thanks for the write-up Seth. Much appreciated!

 

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#25 Respy

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 07:20 AM

I think the Twins front office for now needs to keep the same strategy as last year: Dozier is a star player and team leader, and they should be willing to trade him but only for an appropriate package of prospects.Teams (specifically the Dodgers) were trying to do a 1:1 of a AAA MLB-ready player, and that just shouldn't cut it.

 

More than likely, because Dozier only has 1 year left on his contract, other teams won't be willing to trade a nice package, and he'll play for us again next year.I was more interested in dumping Dozier after the 100-loss season on a rebuilding team. But with the great turnaround this year, for a transitioning team with lots of young, upcoming talent, Dozier is now REALLY important to have on this team.Falvine and Levine really value veteran presence.Wouldn't you rather have a veteran that can be the team MVP, as opposed to someone like Chris Gimenez or Matt Belisle?

 

Looking long-term after next year, I guess it starts with asking Dozier whether he wants to remain a career Twin.I personally don't think Dozier fits with this team a couple years out.It just doesn't make much sense to have a 33-year old second baseman making $15M/year on a mid-market team.

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#26 Shaitan

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 07:58 AM

I think it all depends on what the FO thinks of Gordon and/or Polanco.

 

I'd do it as the price you listed, but I wonder if that's enough. Qualifying offer is $18mil this year. It seems like Dozier is worth that, compared to other players on the market.


#27 ThejacKmp

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 08:15 AM

 

It is funny to me that so often we hear about how people think that because the Twins got a new stadium that they would be able to keep their stars. Brian Dozier is a star, and yet of the first six comments, five of them say to just let him go elsewhere. 

 

People wanted to keep their young starts - the Torii Hunters, Joe Mauers, Justin Morneaus. The guys who would come through the Twins and then go spend their prime elsewhere. Dozier debuted so late he doesn't match that description. We already have most of his prime.


#28 ThejacKmp

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 08:20 AM

With Polanco, Gordon, Lewis, Palacios, Arraez and Wander Javier coming up the pipeline, the Twins really don't need someone blocking the middle infield.

 

I'm not against going and seeing if Dozier wants to stay with the Twins and will give a discount on a two year extension (with maybe a third year that vests with a certain number of ABs and production?). Anything beyond that is foolish. Assuming he wants to get paid (as he should), I'd prefer to let Dozier play out the final year of this contract. By that time, you should have Gordon ready to go and several of those other guys starting to get up into the upper minors. You'll get draft pick compensation for Dozier so you're not letting him go for nothing.

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#29 Twinfan & Dad

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 08:23 AM

If you sign Dozier to an extension then either Gordon, Polanco or Escobar has to be packaged in a larger deal to acquire more pitching. Dont ask me who what or where! We already have versatile middle infield bench people so rotating Gordon/Polanco/Dozier/Escobar doesnt make any sense. It also doesnt make any sense to have Gordon held back if he is ready. Could Polanco be used as a supersub replacing Escobar if he is the odd man out. Is Escobar more valuable to us as insurance for Sano continuing to battle injury? Whatever direction the Twins decide to go, one of the 4 has to be moved and it may mean a unpopular and highly criticized move. My feeling is that Dozier is packaged with a young asset to acquire a middle rotation arm or back-end relief arm. We are finally at the end of the Mauer contract and giving Dozier a long term deal takes away flexibility. Lock up the young guys now with 3 or 4 year deals and move on.
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#30 Doctor Wu

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 08:36 AM

Hard to think that we're seriously talking about a Dozier extension, only a year after it seemed like the majority wanted to ship him elsewhere, and yet it DOES make a certain amount of sense. A fan favorite, a consistent player, someone who seems to rise to the challenges given him. Hmm ... I wouldn't say no.


#31 Steve Lein

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 08:36 AM

 

I love the idea of signing for 2 years... because i think they will rush Lewis and for good reason... 

 

with lewis at SS what do they do with Gordon and Palonco and Dozier? 

 

Trade someone to get to starting pitching... 

 

thots?

 

I don't think Lewis is going to be a shortstop in the majors, but I'm not doubting him putting in the necessary effort to improve there. 

 

Gordon is going to get his shot at SS in the near future, and I think he can stick. He won't be flashy, but I think he'll be better than Polanco. Jermaine Palacios is keeping himself in the SS conversation too.

 

I love Dozier, but the obvious path for the middle infield moving forward is Polanco taking over at 2B and Gordon sliding into SS. If you sign Dozier, that means Polanco or Gordon is without a spot.

 

So I think there's 2 scenarios:

 

1. Trade or not re-sign Dozier to get a Gordon/Polanco middle infield

2. Sign Dozier and trade Gordon or Polanco (you probably can only trade Gordon)

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 45, Speed: 45. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but will sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)

#32 Don Walcott

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 08:36 AM

I would love to see the Twins extend Dozier. After 2018, I think he could move to 1B if we have other middle infielders pushing their way into major league spots. I think his bat will be good for a 1B for another 2-3 years after 2018. I would hope that he would go for 3 years with one option year. You never know, he might show appreciation for the team that brought him up, and didn't trade him for cheap. And giving Molitor 3 years might have helped make this deal.

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#33 dbminn

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 08:50 AM

I'd limit the contract to 3 years, raise Seth's annual salary for 2019 to $18M and give Dozier an opt-out before 2020. ($3M bonus/$18M/$16M/$14M = $51M). The Twins could add a 4th year with vesting option/buyout.

 

Otherwise, let it play out to the end of the year. IMO, the Twins need his production to compete in 2018. 

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#34 PDX Twin

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 08:54 AM

When is the Twins' window?

 

Teams other than the rich boys have to plan for a cycle if they want to win championships. Down-cycles bring high draft picks, which are then the core of the up-cycle contenders. Of the four teams still alive for the championship this year, the Dodgers, Cubs, and Yankees are rich and can buy all the toys all the time. The Astros (and the Nationals had they made it) are up-cycle teams who used a few terrible years with high draft choices to build the core of an excellent team that matured all at once. Their window is now.

 

When is the Twins' window? As has been discussed here at length, the Twins will struggle to hold onto all of Buxton, Sano, Berrios, Polanco, Kepler, Rosario, etc. I see the Twins' window as opening in 2019 and lasting until about 2021, extended possibly by one year on either side. So I evaluate any transactions based on how they affect the likely quality of the team over the five-year period 2018-22.

 

This period would correspond to Dozier's potential remaining career if re-signed. Given a bumpy first year (as nearly all of our rookies have), Gordon starts contributing maybe in 2020 and Lewis maybe at the end of the window. How do we get to the point that Gordon, then Lewis, are actually good? It seems like we have an incumbent who fits perfectly: excellent in 2018 and 2019, and probably a solid contributor (if not the team's MVP) in 2020 and couple of years beyond. Plus, he is the team's clubhouse leader (something that I think is very important but that we, as outsiders, don't know much about) and a very popular player.

 

The same glut of great secondbasemen that drove down the trade prospects is also going to moderate his salary options as a free agent. I think they can sign him to a reasonable 4-5-year contract (counting 2018) and that they should.

 

One more thing. We have been told for years that the money is there if the opportunity arises. Well, this is the opportunity. As we swing up the cycle, so does the marginal benefit of additional salary commitment. The Twins should be looking to increase the salary budget to take advantage of their window. For me, the key is to avoid (when they can) the long-term commitments like those that the Tigers gave to Cabrera (30m+) and Zimmerman (25m), which will eat up budget over the next 5 years of mediocrity. 

 

Good luck to the Twins in finding the sweet spot that brings in enough star power to contend for titles through the window without threatening bankruptcy if we fall short!

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It's great to get out of the cellar ... as long as you bring something with you.


#35 Seth Stohs

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:11 AM

 

Its not that I don't recognize how good Dozier has been, because I know how good he's been.That's why I wanted him dealt for pitching.I'm looking from a big picture aspect.I think it's reasonable for him to seek a 4 year deal and he'll get paid handsomely with it.A midmarket team can't really afford to sign a guy to a deal like that and then still try to extend young and emerging core players like this team has and then still build most of a pitching staff.I want to do what I can to keep Buxton, Sano and Berrios and if that costs me one Dozier, then so be it.The previously mentioned three should be in a Twins uniform long past Dozier.For me, it has less to do with Dozier's age as it does keeping the young core together.

 

I thought he should be traded last offseason too... made sense then. But if they weren't offered a halfway decent return a year ago, do we think he would bring back a haul this offseason? 

 

Buxton, Sano, Berrios, etc., won't get expensive until the final years of a 4-year Dozier extension. There's no reason they can't do both. Well, there are lots of reasons not to, but at the dollars I provided, it could work.  

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#36 Cory Engelhardt

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:41 AM

 

I don't think Lewis is going to be a shortstop in the majors, but I'm not doubting him putting in the necessary effort to improve there. 

 

Gordon is going to get his shot at SS in the near future, and I think he can stick. He won't be flashy, but I think he'll be better than Polanco. Jermaine Palacios is keeping himself in the SS conversation too.

 

I love Dozier, but the obvious path for the middle infield moving forward is Polanco taking over at 2B and Gordon sliding into SS. If you sign Dozier, that means Polanco or Gordon is without a spot.

 

So I think there's 2 scenarios:

 

1. Trade or not re-sign Dozier to get a Gordon/Polanco middle infield

2. Sign Dozier and trade Gordon or Polanco (you probably can only trade Gordon)

 

Couldn't one of them slide over to 3rd if Dozier is resigned too?

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#37 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:42 AM

Will he even sign? He signed that deal b/c he wanted to do FA...

 

That said, I don't see him taking a 2 year deal either. I think Dozier makes more sense getting a QO. He won't take it, and we will get compensation for him when he leaves. With Gordon likely sitting in AAA next season, they will have another year to evaluate Gordon and either trying for a 1 year stop gap or bringing up the kid.

 

Like others, that money is better spent acquiring pitching or locking up the new core.

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#38 Lefty

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:54 AM

Dude has gotten better with time.He plays all the time, hits 30 jacks.The Twins need to be keeping their stars.Obviously you don't sign him to a 10-year deal, but this guy needs to be in our lineup.We can't afford to let him go somewhere else.I'm sick of seeing stars get dealt for prospects.The cool thing to do now days is get a new, young guy in there that is bound to be a star, but how often does that pan out?We have a 2B that hits for power at the top of our lineup that isn't a liability in the field?This is a no-brainer.SIGN HIM!!!Polanco and Gordon aren't going to supply the offense that this guy does.

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#39 wsnydes

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 09:59 AM

 

I thought he should be traded last offseason too... made sense then. But if they weren't offered a halfway decent return a year ago, do we think he would bring back a haul this offseason? 

 

Buxton, Sano, Berrios, etc., won't get expensive until the final years of a 4-year Dozier extension. There's no reason they can't do both. Well, there are lots of reasons not to, but at the dollars I provided, it could work.  

Agreed on the current state of a Dozier trade.At this point, it might make more sense to deal either Dozier or Gordon depending on who garners the larger return.If that isn't in the cards, I'm fine with allowing Dozier to walk.That's a different topic however and I'll leave it there.

 

Aside from extending Buxton, Sano, Berrios and perhaps a couple of others, they still need to bring in some FA pitching in my opinion.I'd rather see the money spent there than on something that the organization several options internally to fill the void.Will they replace Dozier?Not likely, but it helps a potential log jam and also keeps cash free to acquire pitching.Yes, I agree that they could extend Dozier and those young guys, I just feel it wiser to spend that cash elsewhere to improve the team. 

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#40 drjim

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 10:09 AM

Why would they trade Dozier now? I assume they plan on competing and they don't have a ready replacement.

I think they have a shot at a 3 year extension. If Dozier balks, him walking next year is not a disaster.
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