Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Dozier market

It's January. Brian Dozier has not yet been traded. It seems increasingly plausible that he won't be traded.

On the surface, Dozier should be excellent trade bait. He's durable; he's good enough afield to stick at second base; he hits for power (41 homers last year, an average of 27.74 the past four years). He's drawn as many as 89 walks in a season. He has a good percentage as a base stealer. He has two years left on a below-market contract.

 And yet there does not appear to be a clamor to acquire him. The Dodgers are really the only team being plausibly rumored, and without any genuine competition to make the deal, they are presumably lowballing the Twins.

So ... why isn't there more interest in Dozier?

Age. Dozier turns 30 in May. Teams are much more aware today than they were 10 or even five years ago of how much that matters.

Peak performance. Forty-one homers for a second baseman is awesome, but nobody should bet on him replicating that. Twenty-five to 30, yes -- not to dismiss 25 dingers from a keystoner, but that's not 40. Team aren't valuing Dozier as a 40-homer guy, and shouldn't.

"Motivated seller." The Twins lost 103 games last year with really lousy numbers from the pitching staff. They have, in Jorge Polanco, a reasonable alternative to Dozier at second base (and as with Dozier, Polanco lacks the throwing arm to be a good major league shortstop). The perception is that the Twins "need" to trade Dozier.

"Unmotivated buyers." The teams that have quality pitching prospects in bulk are not -- with the exception of the Dodgers -- in the market for a win-now second baseman. There are certainly contenders that could use Dozier. but they don't have the arms to give up for him. There are teams with deep farm systems, but they either have second base locked up or aren't in contention mode yet.

There have been some remarkable prospect hauls in trades this winter. The White Sox pried a lot of talent from the Red Sox and Nationals in the Chris Sale and Adam Eaton deals. The Twins may well be using those trades as their benchmark for moving Dozier. That may be the correct approach, but it may be too high a standard to get a deal done this winter.

No comments:

Post a Comment