During the winter of 2016 and into early 2017, it appeared only a matter of time until the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a trade for Brian Dozier. Instead, they didn’t align with the Minnesota Twins until minutes before Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline.
The Dodgers had a clear need at second base heading into the 2017 season, and Dozier checked that box as well as others. However, the Twins balked at the Dodgers offering Jose De Leon, and the right-handed pitching prospect was instead flipped to the Tampa Bay Rays for Logan Forsythe.
Minnesota received Forsythe and Minor Leaguers Luke Raley and Devin Smeltzer in their trade. Los Angeles did have as drastic of a need up the middle, but it did exist, and so too did improving against left-handed pitching.
While Dozier was acquired to address those deficiencies, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made it clear he would not start on an everyday basis.
It’s a role the 31-year-old isn’t accustomed to, but it’s something Dozier is willing to accept as he looks to contribute however is needed, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times:
“You’re going to get 100% from me, whether it’s off the bench, playing every day, whatever the case may be,” Dozier said. “I made sure he knew that. Whatever I can do to help this ballclub win and get to the postseason and have a chance to win the World Series, I’m all for it.”
The Twins were a fringe postseason-caliber team during stretches of Dozier’s tenure with the franchise, and the club reached the American League Wild Card Game last season. That he now joins a club World Series aspirations might be a factor in his willingness to fill any role.
Whereas Dozier was coming off a career season when the Dodgers had high interest in trading for him, the 2018 campaign has been a bit of a down year. He’s batting .224/.305/.402 with 21 doubles, 16 home runs, 52 RBI and a 91 OPS+ entering play Wednesday.
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