It seems as though the Dodgers and Minnesota Twins might be getting closer on a trade agreement that would include sending Brian Dozier to LA. Rumors have been swirling for weeks. One of the sticking points was the inclusion of Jose De Leon. News broke today that the Dodgers may now be willing to include him.
A trade between the Twins and the Dodgers makes a lot of sense. Coming off the worst record in baseball in 2016, the Twins aren’t going to be contending anytime soon. Trading a player to a team that has a very healthy farm system and getting multiple players back that could have impact is a smart move as they rebuild. And Brian Dozier may not ever have a higher value than he does right now.
Dozier is coming off of a season where he mashed 42 home runs. No Dodger hit more than 30 last year. While there is reason to believe that Dozier may not be able to replicate that high number of home runs again, his bat would be a marked improvement over what LA had last year at second. Chase Utley hit 14 homers as the main second baseman last year. Even if Dozier regressed to 25-30 homers this year with Dodger Stadium as his home park, that’s a big improvement of power from the position. Dozier also hits very well against left-handed pitching, something the Dodgers sorely need. His contract is also very team friendly, another thing that helps the Dodgers with their high payroll.
For Los Angeles, the acquisition of Dozier would fill one of the remaining holes that the Dodgers still have. They re-signed all three of their off season targets in Kenley Jansen, Rich Hill and Justin Turner. But they still need help at second base. Chase Utley could still be an option, but not as an every day starting option. There’s nobody in the farm system ready to take the role. The only moves the Dodgers have made so far this offseason are re-signings, so the farm system is still stocked to go out and acquire a star player.
The key player going from LA to Minnesota would be Jose De Leon. De Leon, 24, is the second-highest rated prospect in the LA farm system. More pieces would be involved of course. Minnesota is also interested in Cody Bellinger, but then again who isn’t? Bellinger is very highly unlikely to be moved, so the Twins would have to settle for other players. Who those players might be, and whether they are enough for the Twins to make the trade remain to be seen. But the Dodgers seem intent to make this deal work, and I have no doubt they can make it work. Maybe LA will have a new second baseman by Christmas.