With Chase Utley reaching free agency and having traded Howie Kendrick to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Los Angeles Dodgers quickly found themselves witha void at second base this offseason.
The club was initially linked to Ian Kinsler of Detroit Tigers, then soon after Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. Los Angeles and Minnesota reportedly discussed a trade for the 29-year-old at the annual General Manager meetings.
Two weeks after it was suggested a trade between the Dodgers and Twins appeared unlikely, the Dodgers’ aggressive pursuit of Dozier was said to have piqued the Twins’ interest.
Although the one-time All-Star doesn’t have any say in the matter, Dozier expressed a desire to remain with the Twins but conceded there’s intrigue in potentially joining the Dodgers, per ESPN’s Doug Padilla:
“For me, personally, that is what fuels you to hopefully remain in an organization, because you want to be a part of success there, but at the same time I understand it’s a business,” Dozier said. “Obviously the Dodgers have come up, and it’s one of those things that is exciting. If you don’t embrace the opportunity to let all of this soak in and see how teams value you, then you lose out. I think it’s pretty cool.”
Dozier batted .268/.340/.546 with 35 doubles, 42 home runs, 99 RBI, a 136 OPS+, .370 wOBA and 132 wRC+ in 155 games this season. He was effective against left-handed pitching, hitting .282/.352/.613 with 11 home runs and 21 RBI in 159 plate appearances.
Dozier rated out to be average defensively among qualified second baseman. He posted just a 0.2 UZR/150, but accumulated a 6.5 WAR, in large part because of strong offensive production.
Dozier is owed $6 million in 2017 and $9 million the following season, which makes for the type of team-friendly contract that fits well with the Dodgers’ desire to remain competitive while lowering payroll.