Brian Dozier’s record-setting season for the league-worst Minnesota Twins has apparently put him on the trade block this winter. He reportedly received interest at this month’s GM meetings, and his team-friendly contract – $ 6 million this year, then $ 9 million in 2018 – should have plenty of teams lining up in pursuit.
But a report Friday suggested the Twins would “have to be wowed” in order to trade the man who just set an AL record for single-season homers by a second baseman. New Twins president Derek Falvey seems to want Dozier to be one of the pieces he builds around over the next few years – but if he can use the 29-year-old to restock the farm system and can get that overwhelming offer in a market ripe for trading, he might be wise to let go now.
Here are three trade proposals that could “wow” Falvey and the Twins enough to trade Dozier this winter.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Twins trade: Dozier, P Glen Perkins, P Hector Santiago
Dodgers trade: 1B/OF Cody Bellinger, P Jose De Leon, P Chase De Jong, P Ross Stripling, IF Omar Estevez
The Dodgers have already been connected to Dozier as they try to add more right-handed power to their lineup, and the parties really are a perfect fit. Giving up Bellinger, the team’s top prospect according to MLB Pipeline, would be tough, but the Twins need to be blown away by the offer and Bellinger could be a player to build around down the road. De Leon and De Jong are both intriguing young pitchers, and the former already reached the majors, while Stripling gives the Twins a young live arm for a few more years of the rebuild. Los Angeles also gets Santiago, a lefty who would do well in Dodger Stadium, plus a wild card in the injured Perkins; if the former All-Star is healthy in 2017, he’s a definite bullpen upgrade, with or without a free-agent closer joining the ranks.
Twins trade: Dozier
Nationals trade: P Reynaldo Lopez, P A.J. Cole, OF Michael A. Taylor, C Jakson Reetz
The Nationals want to win now, and Dozier would help them do that at a steep price – but it wouldn’t cost them Lucas Giolito, which is a win. Dozier’s right-handed bat could help split up Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy in the lineup; he’d also make it easier for the Nats to move Murphy to first base full-time and bump Ryan Zimmerman to the bench. As for the cost, parting with Lopez (the Nats’ No. 3 prospect) and Cole (No. 13) would hurt, but the team’s boatload of young starters would make it easier to swallow. On the other side, their presence would give the Twins two quality young arms to build around, even if they need a bit more seasoning in the minors. In Taylor, who bounced between the majors and Triple-A this year, the Twins get a 25-year-old outfielder who could work his way into the everyday mix over the coming seasons; Reetz is a few years away, and could be ready when Jason Castro’s contract expires.
Tampa Bay Rays
Twins trade: Dozier, Santiago
Rays trade: P Jake Odorizzi, SS Willy Adames, P Chih-Wei Hu, P Jacob Faria, P Michael Santos
It might be surprising to see the small-market Rays here, but if they don’t choose to blow it all up again, they could make a shocking splash and land Dozier to shore up their lineup and get back into the AL East race. Dozier would slot in at second, while Logan Morrison could move to first or be traded elsewhere (perhaps to a loser of these sweepstakes) for more upgrades. They’re giving up one piece of their big-league rotation in Odorizzi and a promising young infielder in Adames, plus two more very good young arms – but they have the prospect surplus to withstand the hit. Dozier’s deal is team-friendly, which the Rays like, while Santiago replaces Odorizzi and has one more year of arbitration. On the Twins’ end, they get a big-league arm while also upgrading their minor-league system. The Rays push back toward contention while the Twins reboot – it’s a win-win small-market deal.