While Kenley Jansen’s free agency has taken center stage for the Los Angeles Dodgers, with Justin Turner not far behind, fact of the matter remains the club also has to address a void at second base.
There’s been a need at the position since the early stages of the offseason, with Chase Utley becoming a free agent, and Howie Kendrick being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. Last month Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi named Kiké Hernandez, Micah Johnson and Chris Taylor as candidates to take over.
However, the club has been connected to prominent options outside the organization, namely Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier.
The Dodgers and Twins reportedly discussed a potential trade for Dozier at the annual General Manager meetings in November, and after a lull, the two sides were again said to be in heavy talks.
According to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, the Twins have interest in Dodgers right-hander Brock Stewart:
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) December 8, 2016
Stewart began the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and quickly climbed the Minor League ranks. He was 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 10 strikeouts over two starts (11 innings pitched) with the Quakes.
After a promotion to Double-A Tulsa, Stewart went 3-3 with a 1.60 ERA in nine starts. He had 62 strikeouts to 10 walks during his time with the Drillers. Stewart was named to the Texas League All-Star Game, though didn’t participate because he’d been promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
In three starts for OKC, the 24-year-old went 3-0 with a 2.89 ERA, 0.91 WHIP and 27 strikeouts in 18.2 innings pitched. Stewart made his MLB debut when he joined the Dodgers for a start in June.
He returned to Oklahoma City and made four starts before again receiving a call-up. Stewart bounced to and from Triple-A, and concluded the Minor League regular season with the Drillers, so that he could return with the Dodgers once active rosters expanded in September.
Stewart went 2-2 with a 5.79 ERA, 1.61 WHIP and 25 strikeouts in 28 innings across seven games (five starts) for Los Angeles. While he may be someone the Twins have interest in, Stewart would not be the centerpiece of a package for Dozier.
The Dodgers would likely need to part with another prominent prospect, perhaps Jose De Leon, in order to acquire Dozier. The 29-year-old is under team control through the 2018 season.
During an appearance at the Winter Meetings, Dozier said his preference was to remain with the Twins, but acknowledged he was intrigued by potentially joining the Dodgers.