While everyone is analyzing whether or not the Los Angeles Dodgers should trade for Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, no one is quite sure what the full deal would be. One piece seems to be agreed upon: Jose De Leon.
But what else should the Dodgers give up? And will a trade for Dozier ultimately be worth it? De Leon is arguably the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect and top prospect overall.
While his first stint in the Majors wasn’t as successful as he or the team would have hoped, the 24-year-old still showed swing-and-miss stuff in his fastball and changeup. If De Leon’s fastball velocity trends back up and he remains healthy, he could profile as a No. 2 starter.
The rest of the Dodgers’ package seems to be a point of contention. The Twins would like another one of the Dodgers’ top pitching prospects, such as Yadier Alvarez or Walker Buehler, and have also shown interest in top hitting prospect Cody Bellinger.
The Dodgers, obviously, would hate to part with two of their top prospects and seem unwilling to move any of those three. So, what would it require to complete a trade?
Pitching is a major strength in the Dodgers’ farm system. Along with De Leon, Los Angeles could offer the likes of Brock Stewart and Ross Stripling, both of whom have already pitched in the Majors, or Chase De Jong and Trevor Oaks, who are likely only a year away.
There’s more upside in the low Minors, though. Alvarez and Buehler arguably have the highest ceilings in the system, while Jordan Sheffield has frontline potential as well.
Even if the Dodgers don’t include one of Alvarez or Buehler, they still have plenty of intriguing arms. Brock Stewart would give Minnesota a Major-League ready arm, while Jordan Sheffield would also provide plenty of upside. One of them should move the deal forward.
But that still may not put ink on paper. Including a bat seems logical, and Willie Calhoun makes the most sense of the Dodgers’ top hitting prospects. Acquiring Dozier makes Calhoun redundant, and there are plenty of evaluators who don’t believe he’ll play second base in the Majors anyway.
Designated hitter may be Calhoun’s best position moving forward, which makes a move to the American League practical.
So, that’s Willie Calhoun, Jose De Leon, and Brock Stewart or Jordan Sheffield in exchange for Brian Dozier.
If that seems like a lot, it’s because it is. Dozier was one of the best players in baseball this past season, and trading for that production doesn’t come cheap. Perhaps the Twins would add Brandon Kintzler to give the Dodgers a groundball specialist/set-up man.
And now to the big question: is it worth it?
Losing three of those prospects is certainly painful, but acquiring one of the best hitters in baseball and perhaps a valuable bullpen arm would fill the Dodgers’ final holes on their roster.
It would cut into the team’s depth, but they’d still have plenty of arms to call upon if the need arises. Plus, would you rather see Chase Utley at the keystone position once again and Pedro Baez setting up Jansen?
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