At this juncture it would come as a surprise if the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins failed to complete a trade involving Brian Dozier. Los Angeles has a clear need at second base, and Dozier fits their roster well in terms of production and being on a team-friendly contract.
While the Dodgers have resisted trading any of their top prospects in recent years, all signs point to the club being willing to deal Jose De Leon. The young right-hander is the type of talent Minnesota is seeking in exchange for Dozier.
However, whereas the Dodgers reportedly believe De Leon is sufficient in a one-for-one trade, the Twins aren’t nearly as convinced. That’s remained a hurdle between the two sides in recent weeks, and according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, is still an issue:
As of Monday afternoon, the Twins did not believe that the Dodgers’ offer included enough additional value, or that De Leon alone could carry a trade for Dozier, sources say.
The Twins, out of respect to Dozier, want to resolve the matter soon. Perhaps the soft deadline will accelerate the talks in the hours ahead. But the Twins, sources say, are concerned that De Leon, like many prospects, will not fulfill his hype.
After making just one start through the first two months of the season, De Leon rebounded from ankle and shoulder injuries to pitch well in Triple-A Oklahoma City, going went7-1 with a 2.61 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 86.1 innings pitched in 16 starts.
De Leon made his MLB debut on Sept. 4, and remained with the Dodgers through the final month of the season. He was 2-0 in four starts, but yielded a 6.35 ERA, 6.97 FIP, 1.53 WHIP and averaged nearly four walks per nine innings.
Although De Leon is generally held in high regard, there are questions surrounding his velocity and lack of a breaking ball.
The Twins are approaching a self-imposed deadline to arrive at a decision on Dozier’s future. Although he’s been connected to trade speculation over the past two months, the Twins are said to be comfortable beginning the 2017 season with the 29-year-old still on their roster.