The Los Angeles Dodgers’ search for a second baseman this offseason became a public spectacle, with the club regularly connected to Minnesota’s Brian Dozier, Tampa Bay’s Logan Forsythe and Detroit’s Ian Kinsler.
For several weeks running Dozier appeared destined to wind up in Los Angeles. The Dodgers reportedly used Jose De Leon as the centerpiece of a trade, but the Twins sought additional compensation for their All-Star second baseman.
After weeks of ongoing dialogue, trade talks between the Dodgers and Twins reached an impasse. At that point Los Angeles pivoted to the Rays and traded for Logan Forsythe in a one-for-one swap, sending De Leon to Tampa Bay.
While Dozier’s future appears settled — presumably at least until the non-waiver trade deadline — he was critical of the Twins’ offseason, in a general sense, and the club’s direction, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“Obviously, a lot of things went on this offseason that, quite frankly, I don’t necessarily like. But at the same time, it is what it is. Now that the point is where everybody’s focused on Spring Training and trying to get this team where it needs to be, I’m here and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
“I’ve got two years left, I don’t want it to always be like a ping-pong ball or something, any time an opening comes up and all that,” Dozier said. “That’s kind of been the disappointment through everything. I don’t really know how to put it, but I don’t want to be [dealing with] that up until the Trade Deadline and next offseason and stuff. I’m here and I’m trying to help this team win games, and that’s what I’m here for.”
While speaking at the 2016 Winter Meetings, Dozier said his preference was to remain with the Twins and play a role in changing the franchise’s fortunes, but acknowledged there was intrigue in potentially joining the Dodgers.
The 29-year-old overcame a slow start last season to finish the year batting .268/.340/.546 with 35 doubles, 42 home runs, 99 RBI, a 136 OPS+, .370 wOBA and 132 wRC+ in 155 games. What’s more, Dozier set career highs in on-base plus slugging percentage (.886), doubles, home runs, RBI and OPS+.
Whether the Twins’ new front office made the correct decision in standing firm on their demands in a trade for Dozier will reveal itself once the regular season carries forward. For now, Minnesota retains an All-Star second baseman who is owed a modest $6 million this season and $9 million in 2018.