The 2018 season was a difficult one for Brian Dozier as he saw his production dip tremendously, which was in part due to a knee injury that he was forced to manage all season.
Dozier was also traded for the first time in his career, going from the Minnesota Twins to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the non-waiver deadline.
While the Dodgers badly needed production at second base, Dozier was unable to give it to them and by the start of the postseason, he was essentially a bench player.
Dozier is now a free agent for the first time, and up until recently, there was not much interest being shown in the 31-year-old. While it could not be ruled out completely, a return to the Dodgers had seemed unlikely.
It is now apparent that is not going to happen as Jeff Passan of ESPN is reporting that Dozier will be heading to the Washington Nationals on a one-year, $9 million contract:
Free agent second baseman Brian Dozier is in agreement with the Washington Nationals on a one-year, $9 million deal, league sources tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 10, 2019
Dozier is coming off a season in which he hit .215/.305/.391 with 21 home runs and 72 RBI in 151 games between the Twins and Dodgers. He could be a nice bounce-back candidate with the Nationals though considering he hit a combined 76 home runs in 2016 and 2017.
The Dodgers are still without a clear-cut starting second baseman in place, and each day that goes by they seem to be losing viable options. They have been linked to D.J. LeMahieu this winter, so he is still in play along with Jed Lowrie.
With Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernandez and Max Muncy all capable of playing the position though, they may decide to go with their internal options and look to upgrade other areas of the roster instead.
Meanwhile, the Nationals are now a team to watch out for in the National League as in addition to Dozier, they have also added Patrick Corbin, Anibal Sanchez and a pair of relievers this winter. They also are still in the mix to re-sign Bryce Harper.