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Article: Twins 2018 Position Analysis: Second Base

brian dozier nick gordon jorge polanco travis blankerhorn andrew bechtold
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#21 slash129

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 11:40 AM

 

Let's get this season started before I really go nuts!

 

Couldn't agree more .... The next 3 weeks are going to seem like 3 months. Even more so, if I have to keep reading things like offering Lance Lynn 10 mill a year is disrespectful in one place and then offering more than 15 mill a year to Dozier is dumb in another.

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#22 Thrylos

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 11:52 AM

It's more complicated than Gordon vs. Dozier for 2019:

 

  • It is almost certain (if of course Dozier performs well in 2018) that the Twins will make a qualifying offer, which Dozier may or may not take.
  • If he does not take it, and signs with another team, the Twins gain a high draft pick.
  • Kinda hate it that Eduardo Escobar sounds like the forgotten man in this conversation.Regardless Gordon's readiness, he could be the Twins' second baseman in 2019.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera, Logan Forsythe, Freddy Galvis, Ian Kinsler, D.J. LeMahieu, Jed Lowrie, Daniel Murphy, Sean Rodriguez are all free agents next off-season and will be competing with Dozier for a new job.That job might be with the Twins.Will the Twins be better off withLeMahieu (the premier defender at 2B in the game, plus a great, albeit less powerful bat) than Dozier (who is 2 years older) in the intermediate term? 
  • Will the Twins be better with Buxton and Polanco (their 2 fastest players based on statcast) on top of the order than Dozier and Mauer in 2019?
  • The Twins let more popular players (Morneau for one, Gaetti for another) walk, and it was not the end of the world in the fanbase.

There is a lot in play here, and no way we can answer (or need to answer really) this right now.We got to see how 2018 goes for the Twins and Dozier, it will be a critical data point in the decision...

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#23 Danchat

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 12:14 PM

 

Unless he has a big setback this year, Dozier is going to get a contract approaching 100M. I have no doubt. He'll be viewed as much more of a Hosmer type than a Moustakas type.

Really? I hadn't heard anyone talking about this and I was assuming Dozier would get $60-80M tops on a new deal. I would offer Dozier a deal in the 4 year $60-70M range but if someone's offering $90-100M, then that's goodbye.

 

 

Kinda hate it that Eduardo Escobar sounds like the forgotten man in this conversation.Regardless Gordon's readiness, he could be the Twins' second baseman in 2019.

Eddie's a free agent in 2019 too so there's no guarantee he's back. I doubt they go into 2019 with him re-signed as the starter.

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#24 Vanimal46

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 12:19 PM

 

It's more complicated than Gordon vs. Dozier for 2019:

 

  • It is almost certain (if of course Dozier performs well in 2018) that the Twins will make a qualifying offer, which Dozier may or may not take.
  • If he does not take it, and signs with another team, the Twins gain a high draft pick.
  • Kinda hate it that Eduardo Escobar sounds like the forgotten man in this conversation.Regardless Gordon's readiness, he could be the Twins' second baseman in 2019.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera, Logan Forsythe, Freddy Galvis, Ian Kinsler, D.J. LeMahieu, Jed Lowrie, Daniel Murphy, Sean Rodriguez are all free agents next off-season and will be competing with Dozier for a new job.That job might be with the Twins.Will the Twins be better off withLeMahieu (the premier defender at 2B in the game, plus a great, albeit less powerful bat) than Dozier (who is 2 years older) in the intermediate term? 
  • Will the Twins be better with Buxton and Polanco (their 2 fastest players based on statcast) on top of the order than Dozier and Mauer in 2019?
  • The Twins let more popular players (Morneau for one, Gaetti for another) walk, and it was not the end of the world in the fanbase.

There is a lot in play here, and no way we can answer (or need to answer really) this right now.We got to see how 2018 goes for the Twins and Dozier, it will be a critical data point in the decision...

 

The Twins would need to sign Escobar next off-season too, as he's a UFA. 

 

Morneau wouldn't have been traded if he wasn't dealing with post-concussion issues. 
 

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#25 Nick Nelson

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 12:36 PM

 

Really? I hadn't heard anyone talking about this and I was assuming Dozier would get $60-80M tops on a new deal. I would offer Dozier a deal in the 4 year $60-70M range but if someone's offering $90-100M, then that's goodbye.

I found this excerpt from Souhan's column on Dozier earlier this week telling.

 

“I think teams have gotten a lot smarter, and they really break down the numbers,” [Dozier] said. “The biggest thing in free agency is really making sure agents know their players’ value, and that their players understand that.

 

“And how teams are evaluating players — that if you hit 30 home runs and drive in 80 and you’re one-dimensional and your WAR is a .8 you aren’t going to get paid like players used to. If you’ve had a high WAR for many years, I think you’ll do all right.”

 

He gets it. Over the past two years Dozier has 10.8 WAR -- 13th most in baseball among hitters. The guys around him? Justin Turner, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Freddie Freeman.

 

I don't think there's any question the latter three would be looking at deals in the 100M range as free agents. Turner got 4/64 from LA as a 32-year-old last offseason but he didn't have nearly the track record of Dozier, nor the entrenched rep as a leader and clubhouse staple. 

 

The landscape of free agency is changing, yes, but modern front offices still recognize and highly value WAR and other stats where Dozier rates well. And it'll probably be a different story once some of the big players reset their luxury tax penalties.

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#26 Oxtung

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 01:25 PM

 

I found this excerpt from Souhan's column on Dozier earlier this week telling.

 

“I think teams have gotten a lot smarter, and they really break down the numbers,” [Dozier] said. “The biggest thing in free agency is really making sure agents know their players’ value, and that their players understand that.

 

“And how teams are evaluating players — that if you hit 30 home runs and drive in 80 and you’re one-dimensional and your WAR is a .8 you aren’t going to get paid like players used to. If you’ve had a high WAR for many years, I think you’ll do all right.”

 

He gets it. Over the past two years Dozier has 10.8 WAR -- 13th most in baseball among hitters. The guys around him? Justin Turner, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Freddie Freeman.

 

I don't think there's any question the latter three would be looking at deals in the 100M range as free agents. Turner got 4/64 from LA as a 32-year-old last offseason but he didn't have nearly the track record of Dozier, nor the entrenched rep as a leader and clubhouse staple. 

 

The landscape of free agency is changing, yes, but modern front offices still recognize and highly value WAR and other stats where Dozier rates well. And it'll probably be a different story once some of the big players reset their luxury tax penalties.

Justin Turner seems to be a good comp for Dozier, IMO. If you compare Dozier's last 3 seasons and Turner's 3 before he signed his extension...

 

Stat Dozer/Turner

b-WAR 13.4/13.1

fWAR 14.2/12.7

OPS+122/135

PA 2100/1383

 

Dozier has been healthier and that shows in the PA's but Turner has been a better hitter and that equals things out quite a bit. Also Turner had 622 PA's and played in 151 games just prior to signing his extension so I'm not sure how much that affected his value. They are/were both 32 years old going into their new contracts. They both also play non-premium defensive positions.

 

I can't see Dozier getting more than $60-$80 million.

Edited by Oxtung, 09 March 2018 - 01:26 PM.

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#27 gunnarthor

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 01:40 PM

Keep in mind, next season will include Harper, Machado, Kershaw, Blackmon, Donaldson, Andrew Miller, David Price has an opt out, Gio Gonzalez ... 

 

It's an insane class and one of the reasons owners are trying to keep prices low this offseason. There's a pretty good argument that Dozier won't be a top 10 free agent next year. So he could take the Twins one year offer and wait another year. 

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#28 Thrylos

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 02:01 PM

 

Justin Turner seems to be a good comp for Dozier, IMO. If you compare Dozier's last 3 seasons and Turner's 3 before he signed his extension...

 

Stat Dozer/Turner

b-WAR 13.4/13.1

fWAR 14.2/12.7

OPS+122/135

PA 2100/1383

 

Dozier has been healthier and that shows in the PA's but Turner has been a better hitter and that equals things out quite a bit. Also Turner had 622 PA's and played in 151 games just prior to signing his extension so I'm not sure how much that affected his value. They are/were both 32 years old going into their new contracts. They both also play non-premium defensive positions.

 

I can't see Dozier getting more than $60-$80 million.

 

 

Baseball reference lists Dan Uggla as the player closest to Dozier.In the last 3 seasons preceeding his free agency, he had:

 

OPS+ 123
bWAR 10.9
fWAR 11.4

 

He became a free agent in 2011 and signed a 4y/$48M contract after age 30. The average salary back then was about $3M and now about $4M, so that 4/48 today would have a 4/64 equivalent, which seems about right, other than maybe the 4 part.A 3/40 is more likely, esp. with the other high quality second basemen, in addition to the superstars, who are going to be free agents this coming fall.

Edited by Thrylos, 09 March 2018 - 02:02 PM.

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#29 Oxtung

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 02:57 PM

 

Baseball reference lists Dan Uggla as the player closest to Dozier.In the last 3 seasons preceeding his free agency, he had:

 

OPS+ 123
bWAR 10.9
fWAR 11.4

 

He became a free agent in 2011 and signed a 4y/$48M contract after age 30. The average salary back then was about $3M and now about $4M, so that 4/48 today would have a 4/64 equivalent, which seems about right, other than maybe the 4 part.A 3/40 is more likely, esp. with the other high quality second basemen, in addition to the superstars, who are going to be free agents this coming fall.

 

I think another thing overlooked here is that MLB in general doesn't seem to value the 2B position. There have been very few multi-year contracts handed out to players at 2B. Look at Dozier's supposed trade value last offseason. Look at the trouble Neil Walker is having this offseason; teams are apparently offering minor league deals!

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#30 Nick Nelson

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:21 PM

 

I think another thing overlooked here is that MLB in general doesn't seem to value the 2B position. There have been very few multi-year contracts handed out to players at 2B. Look at Dozier's supposed trade value last offseason. Look at the trouble Neil Walker is having this offseason; teams are apparently offering minor league deals!

Fair points. We'll see I guess. Walker has never had a 5-WAR season, neither did Uggla. Dozier's done it two years back to back. And I think there's a good chance he makes it three straight. I'd be curious to see the recent history of free agent contracts signed by players coming off three consecutive seasons of 5+ WAR. 

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#31 caninatl04

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:27 PM

Keep in mind, next season will include Harper, Machado, Kershaw, Blackmon, Donaldson, Andrew Miller, David Price has an opt out, Gio Gonzalez ... 
 
It's an insane class and one of the reasons owners are trying to keep prices low this offseason. There's a pretty good argument that Dozier won't be a top 10 free agent next year. So he could take the Twins one year offer and wait another year.

Yes, supply will be higher, but some big spending clubs, like The Evil Empire, will be out of Luxury Tax Repeat Offender jail, so, demand will also be higher.

I concur that the most likely outcome is a qualifying offer.
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#32 bean5302

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:29 PM

Robinson Cano signed with the Mariners for 10 years and $240M at age 31 going in to 2014, but Cano did have a bit more ceiling and a better track record. Dozier isn't going to get close to that, but it's hard to argue Dozier isn't a premier player.

 

2B hasn't been a high demand spot, but Dozier is the second best 2B in MLB over the past 3 years, and he gives a 2.5 WAR upgrade over other "good" 2B options. That's a hell of a lot.

 

I'd be surprised if Dozier didn't command a 3-5 year contract at $75-100M.


#33 gagu

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:39 PM

mikelink45, on 09 Mar 2018 - 10:46 AM, said:

This was a good recap, but without Royce Lewis in the conversation it misses a key component of the plan.

 

Nick Nelson
Today, 11:34 AM

IMO Lewis will end up at either SS or CF. I don't see second base in his future. Could be wrong.

 

I think Mike was referring to Lewis taking over at short which would result in Gordon and Polanco both ending up at 2B. That's my take at least. It's a mix of the present and the future, but if Lewis is on the fast-track and stays at short, he becomes a key component and Polanco becomes part of the equation at 2B. I know that this is a big factor in my thinking in regards to Dozier's future with the Twins. That's why I'm on the fence now and will probably stay there until way into the season. Will Polanco continue to improve his defense at SS; will Lewis continue to move up quickly; does Gordon more potential of being a better than average second baseman, etc.

 

Anyway, it is still a good read. 

 

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#34 Oxtung

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 05:52 PM

Here is the last 10 years of deals to 2B with more than $30 million in total value:

 

Player / Age / Years / Total $millions

 

2017-2018

 

2016-2017

 

2015-2016

Daniel Murphy / 31 / 3 / $37.5

Ben Zobrist / 35 / 4 / $56

 

2014-2015

 

2013-2014

Robinson Cano / 31 / 10 / $240

Omar Infante / 32 / 4 / $30 

 

2012-2013

 

2011-2012

 

2010-2011

 

2009-2010

 

2008-2009

Rafael Furcal / 31 / 3 / $30

 

In the history of baseball there has only been one deal worth more than $60 million dollars that has gone to a second baseman and he was a top 5 player in all of baseball.

 

This isn't to say that Dozier can't get a big deal or even that he won't break $60 million but he will be facing some long odds to do it.

Edited by Oxtung, 09 March 2018 - 05:52 PM.

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#35 DocBauer

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 06:41 PM

Can you give me an example of "the media" taking this kind of stance? I haven't seen it. Most people -- even Dozier fans -- seem to understand the validity of the team's thinking from what I've seen.


Whoops, fixed. Thank you!


Unless he has a big setback this year, Dozier is going to get a contract approaching 100M. I have no doubt. He'll be viewed as much more of a Hosmer type than a Moustakas type.


IMO Lewis will end up at either SS or CF. I don't see second base in his future. Could be wrong.


OOPS! Or LF with Buxton in CF.😉

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#36 DocBauer

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 06:51 PM

Sano isn't the 3rd baseman of the future unless something dramatic happens.
Escobar isn't the 3rd baseman of the future. Love him, but not at 3rd with his bat.
Gordon at SS is superior to Polanco at SS.
Polanco has some potential to replace a lot of Dozier's bat and add superior defense at 2B
There isn't anybody in MiLB who is an obvious solution for 3rd base n the next year or two.
Dozier's going to decline. He keeps defying all logic, but for the next few years, I could see him compensating for a bit of a weaker arm with superior range at 3rd base and his bat would play there.
Mauer probably isn't the solution at 3rd. His cannon arm is wasted at 1B, but his speed is on the decline and asking him to just learn a completely new, and this time more difficult, position seems like a tall order.

Maybe the Twins are just in the position where there are too many pieces moving to make a big commitment to Dozier.


Nice post. But Sano IS the future at 3B. The only question is how long the "future" is. Other than injury, rapid weight gain/total disinterest in work and conditioning/injury, there is still NOTHING to indicate in any way that Sano can't play at least a solid 3B, if not a really good 3B. Speculation is like a rampant disease!

Regardless, barring trade, we could still easily see a brilliant combination of Javier, Lewis, Polanco and Gordon taking over the infield on a few years.

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#37 DocBauer

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 07:11 PM

It's more complicated than Gordon vs. Dozier for 2019:

  • It is almost certain (if of course Dozier performs well in 2018) that the Twins will make a qualifying offer, which Dozier may or may not take.
  • If he does not take it, and signs with another team, the Twins gain a high draft pick.
  • Kinda hate it that Eduardo Escobar sounds like the forgotten man in this conversation. Regardless Gordon's readiness, he could be the Twins' second baseman in 2019.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera, Logan Forsythe, Freddy Galvis, Ian Kinsler, D.J. LeMahieu, Jed Lowrie, Daniel Murphy, Sean Rodriguez are all free agents next off-season and will be competing with Dozier for a new job. That job might be with the Twins. Will the Twins be better off with LeMahieu (the premier defender at 2B in the game, plus a great, albeit less powerful bat) than Dozier (who is 2 years older) in the intermediate term?
  • Will the Twins be better with Buxton and Polanco (their 2 fastest players based on statcast) on top of the order than Dozier and Mauer in 2019?
  • The Twins let more popular players (Morneau for one, Gaetti for another) walk, and it was not the end of the world in the fanbase.
There is a lot in play here, and no way we can answer (or need to answer really) this right now. We got to see how 2018 goes for the Twins and Dozier, it will be a critical data point in the decision...

Couldn't agree with this more! Need multiple likes.

Much like Brock pointed out in another thread, it's Dozier's right to explore FA for the first time. It's also the Twins right to see how 2018 goes before making an offer.

There is a tremendous amount of fluidity going on here.

Personally, I'd still offer a 3 year extension that is fair, possibly with a 4th year option. Something along the lines of $14-15M per. If BD and his reps don't like it, so be it. I'd still bet it's the same kind of offer he'll receive as a FA.

I'd just rather lock up his next 3 years of very good to solid production and have it "in the bank" vs looking to replace it.

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#38 Tommygun921

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 07:39 PM

Didn't the Twins play Rosario at 2nd at one time in the minors? 😂

#39 LeatherAntenna

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 07:47 PM

Well written and fair--and sad.Look what it takes to draft and develop a player like Dozier.Look at all his contributions and pay him fairly.Anyone else they can get to man 2B the next few years will fall short of his production.Also, to those expecting a quick decline to his production because he is 31, he is likely to again prove the doubters wrong.

. Agreed, he may or may not soon start to decline. Given the nature of that which he has achieved, perhaps as a perennial underdog, I expect him to surprise us with great play for a long time yet wherever he plays and finishes his career. He is a joy to watch.
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#40 Brandon

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 11:04 PM

I think Dozier will hit over 300 HRs in his career. I would like to see him do it in a Twins uniform. He could be 2nd all time in Franchise HRs. Who saw that comming?

Also Dozier is about to have 100 career steals as a Twin. That doesnt happen very often here.

Occasionally its good to keep players around who are contributing and climbing franchise all time list as there will be lots of post playing days marketing if he stays too fir the Twins...

Difference between Uggla and Dozier is speed and defense. Dozier has both Uggla had neither. There is a lot of value in that but also likely slows the aging curve for Dozier a little bit.



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