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Article: The Difficult Dozier Decision


 

Supply and demand and smarter front offices say otherwise BUT only time will tell. 

 

If I could goto Vegas and bet on it I'd put $20 on his contract being closer to $8 million per year than $15 per year, no matter what the length is.

Every team in baseball should line up for a 5 fWAR player at $8m per season. Every. Single. Team. It doesn't matter if you already have a second baseman, for that money you stash that guy on the bench or at DH. You're literally getting $25m of production for $8m.

 

And if it's smart money for literally all 30 teams to buy into a guy at that price, the odds of him signing at that price are so low they're not worth mentioning.

 

Brian Dozier is a lot closer to JD Martinez than he is Logan Morrison. He's comparable to Lorenzo Cain, who received $80m this offseason.

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I'm not sure I'd want them to go more than 3/50 for him. The drop off between him and Gordon will probably be huge, but it might be necessary. The dollar amount being more would be ok with me, but the years are something I hope they don't get too crazy on.

 

If that's not good enough, then QO him and see what happens.

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It's easy to just "plug in" Gordon

This. 

 

1) Dozier leaving is a big loss offensively. It isn't as easy as just plug in Gordon and the bats keep rolling.

 

2) Are we sure most if not all of this young core will be here after 4 years? If they're going to be "too expensive," then I'd rather pay Dozier and maximize the current window. 

 

3) I understand letting him walk saves $$ but Mike made a good point above. What are they going to do with that money? 

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I think it's possible to be disappointed about the lack of extension talks and be excited about free agency. I think different questions were asked in the two interviews. If he sees the writing on the wall, then his best bet is to have a positive outlook on the next chapter of his career.

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That article is sad. I kinda wish the Twins would at least offer a 3-4 year deal to the guy. I'm of the thought that Gordon is at best a utility guy. He'd be here by now if he were any good. Slap hitter, set for the bottom of the order vs. a guy you can slot in anywhere in the top 4 spots of your lineup. 

 

I get the fact that there are some options in our organization, but Dozier is still in his prime. Unless he is truly looking for the 4-6 year deal, I think the Twins should at least be exploring options with him. 

 

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If Dozier continues his recent level of play, he'll get a lot more than $8m a season for three seasons.

 

The dude has averaged nearly 5 fWAR per season over the past four seasons. I'd be surprised if he gets less than $12m per season and will likely land somewhere in the $15m per season range, though he may have to take fewer overall years to get that rate (assuming next offseason is similar to this offseason, which is a pretty big assumption to make).

 

I mean I'd assume so, but the Ballad of Neil Walker this off season has to be putting a scare into him. The Twins probably have 3-4 internal options for his replacement, other clubs probably do too. If I was Dozier, I'd be campaigning to get some time at 3B or corner OF just to increase my versatility. 

 

Huh, just typing that it occurred to me that if Dozer could play LF, that'd sure make for a nice option to spell Kepler against lefties.

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Huh, just typing that it occurred to me that if Dozer could play LF, that'd sure make for a nice option to spell Kepler against lefties.

I've been thinking about this as well. If Dozier accepts the QO, it's an interesting solution.

 

But I still don't want to lock up Brian for four seasons, which is what it will probably take to retain him.

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I like Dozier, he's proven me wrong with his improvements in consistency, but I'd be really hesitant to give him more than 3 years.  

 

Also, this offseason makes it really difficult to predict next offseason.  I'd put the odds at resigning Dozier about equal to a work stoppage and just about anything in between.

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Between now and next off-season (or the trade deadline) there will be a thousand posts/articles on Dozier's situation, along with 10 thousand interview questions about it.  Both the writers and Brian will contradict themselves and each other countlessly.

 

He's just a guy being advised by his agent and trying not to piss everyone off in the interim...like 99% of the others that have gone through this.

 

The interesting thing to me...if you're thinking about signing Dozier, then you should be thinking about trading Gordon, right?  Why would you make a bench player out of a 5th over-all draft pick that is still a top 100 prospect?  You'd want to get something of more value than a utility infielder while you still had the change.  So, IMO, the tricky part for the Twins will be getting decent value out of Gordon if they find themselves spending the money to keep Dozier.  (This assumes that the Twins have already decided that Gordon is not an every-day MLB SS.)

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Someone, some prospect, or Dozier, should start working on playing 3B.

I think this is a good point.  I seem to recall that when Dozier was moved off of SS, the primary issue was range, not arm.  Someone can confirm or deny.  If that's the case, and the Twins find themselves with an opportunity to sign Dozier, but happen to love Gordon, Dozier's bat plays at 3rd (at least it has for the last few years).

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Dozier has progressed with the bat and power more than anybody expected.  After taking care of that issue, the next criticism was his defense, especially his range.  Now he's done something similar, raising the level of his defense. 

That reminded me (sorry, showing my age here) of a comment Bud Grant once made about Viking running back Dave Osborne.  A criticism of Osborne was that he didn't have the great natural speed of most NFL running backs. Yet he became a great running back.  Anyway, Bud said something like Osborne was the only person he'd ever coached who could will himself to run faster. 

Heart is as important as talent and tends to raise everyone's level on the team.

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I do think this is a tough decision. But, I think he will be good for three more years, so if they can agree on that length, I do it. Even with the MI depth.

Unless they are going to spend that in big time pitching, I don't know where else the money will even go.

 

I think Mike is on point here and I think I have a pathway that the Twins can use to get this done.  The Twins have a big advantage over the competition, they can influence the amount he can get paid this year.  I would go to Brian with the following points:

 

1. Daniel Murphy was right after you in WAR for 2B last season and his free agent contract in 2016 was 3 years/$37.5 million.

2. $5.5 million of that was deferred.

3. We have room in our 2018 budget due to BAMTech to get you more money immediately.

 

 

My formal offer would be the following:

- 3 years/$45 million

- No deferred money

- $6 million raise in 2018 to bring his salary up to $15 million

- $5 million signing bonus

 

This would allow us to use our financial flexibility over the next few years but comes off the books as guys like Buxton, Sano, and Rosario hit free agency.  

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Here is the list of next years 2B FA's:

 

Jose Altuve (29) — $6.5MM club option
Asdrubal Cabrera (33)
Daniel Descalso (32)
Brian Dozier (32)
Logan Forsythe (32)
Marwin Gonzalez (30)
Josh Harrison (31) — $10.5MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Ian Kinsler (37)
DJ LeMahieu (30)
Jed Lowrie (35)
Daniel Murphy (34)
Eduardo Nuñez (32) — $4MM player option with a $2MM buyout
Jose Reyes (36)
Sean Rodriguez (34)

 

There are some good options there. Kinsler, Murphy and Forsythe could be in the same tier as Dozier next season. In addition there are couple players that might be available on a one year deal only a step down from Dozier.

 

I like JHarldson's idea above. It would essentially be a 4 year $60 million deal. I would rather the Twins go for a big time pitcher but I think this offseason showed that isn't going to happen so we should upgrade where we can and this seems reasonable.

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I think this is a good point.  I seem to recall that when Dozier was moved off of SS, the primary issue was range, not arm.  Someone can confirm or deny.

It was both. He always had a fringy arm for short.

 

Though you actually need a stronger arm for short than third a lot of the time... but I still don't think Dozier has the arm for third.

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It was both. He always had a fringy arm for short.

 

Though you actually need a stronger arm for short than third a lot of the time... but I still don't think Dozier has the arm for third.

 

I think he has the feet for third... and if he has the feet for third... he'll have the arm for third. 

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Difficult?   According to whom?  It makes no sense for this team to offer him anything more than a qualifying offer.  He might have a difficult decision to make...

Just remember what happened when the Twins signed Mauer to an extension before he was eligible to become a free agent.

 

If he has a good year, offer him the QO first & then talk about a possible 3-4 year contract. Or fall back on your in-house options that may make sense in the long term.

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Just remember what happened when the Twins signed Mauer to an extension before he was eligible to become a free agent.

 

If he has a good year, offer him the QO first & then talk about a possible 3-4 year contract. Or fall back on your in-house options that may make sense in the long term.

You mean how Mauer went on to 3 All Star games? Or finishing top 10 in MVP voting the season after he signed the contract? Or the Gold Gloves? Or his 120 OPS+? Sure we all wish Mauer never had his concussion or been forced out from behind the plate but let's not suggest that he or his contract has been any kind of hindrance to the Minnesota Twins.

 

If Brian Dozier was that successful we would all be jumping for joy over the next several years.

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At minimum give him a qualifying offer and receive draft pick compensation when he walks.

 

At maximum offer him a 3 year deal worth $45 million at most.  As noted in the article, he's been worth more than that of late but I don't think he will have much bargaining power here.  I also think teams will look at his age and expect a decline in numbers to start happening in the next year or two.

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Anyone else notice Neil Walker can't find a team? Just saying demand is not that great for 2nd base. I know Walker is not equal to Dozier but just proves they could find a cheap alternative some where next year if Dozier demands the world in a contract.

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Anyone else notice Neil Walker can't find a team? Just saying demand is not that great for 2nd base. I know Walker is not equal to Dozier but just proves they could find a cheap alternative some where next year if Dozier demands the world in a contract.

They could I guess. But why would you not want the 2nd best 2B in all of baseball?

 

They could go with the cheap internal option and get maybe ~2 WAR from him, or 5+ WAR from Dozier.

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I sure hope management doesn't think that Dozier is going to be the player he was the last two years for the next three or four.  This is the trouble with baseball contracts.  Too often you overpay for what the guy did instead of for what he is capable of doing.  If you give Dozier too many years it's a mistake.  I even think three years is too much,  Take a look at a player like Chase Utley.  He was better than Dozier was for a longer period of time and by the time he hit his early 30s his production declined pretty sharply:

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/u/utleych01.shtml

 

I guess it is natural to get attached to players, but do what is right for the betterment of this team going forward.

 

 

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