Dodgers, Twins said to be at ‘impasse’ in Brian Dozier trade negotiations

(Via)

It had been reported for a week that the Brian Dozier trade talks would come to some resolution … in the next week. Well, here we are more than a week later and we might finally have something.

Well then. This is not the resolution I was expecting, but after almost a couple months of negotiations, it isn’t terribly surprising.

The Dodgers had been offering Jose De Leon. That was about the only confirmed (and not even officially confirmed) piece the Dodgers were offering. There had been talk that they were just offering De Leon, but I still don’t believe that to be the case. More likely, the teams were haggling over any secondary and tertiary pieces involved. Because if the Dodgers were offering De Leon and Yadier Alvarez, like some folks would lead you to believe, these talks would have been over six weeks ago with the Dodgers having a new second baseman and the Twins’ farm system improving immensely.

There’s no good reason for this deal to have fallen through. Maybe the Dodgers weren’t offering enough; maybe the Twins were asking/expecting way too much. But at one point, this deal was just about at the “finalize” stage before the proposal fell apart.

The Twins are well within their right to ask a lot for Dozier. Their new front office doesn’t want to sell off their best trade chip without getting quality players in return. But the Dodgers might have felt uncomfortable dealing two MLB-ready pitchers in De Leon and Brock Stewart in the same deal, even if they could withstand such a deal. Also there wasn’t much of a market for him, despite Minnesota’s efforts to engage other teams (Giants, Nationals) and even leak the fact other teams were “in” on Dozier (Cardinals), so the Dodgers had no incentive to budge either.

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In the end, it doesn’t matter which team did what. As of now, it seems the Dodgers and Twins will not be completing a trade for Dozier. That means the Dodgers will have to find another player to add to the lineup. I wrote — at length — about Jose Bautista this morning. Here’s a brief snippet:

“Bautista did have a down 2016 season, but a down 2016 season for him was still a 122 wRC+, a .217 ISO and a 16.8 walk rate. He projected to be a below-average MLB player last season (1.6 WAR/600 PA), but that is almost entirely due to his poor defensive rating with a -9.3 UZR/150 and -8 defensive runs saved. That, coupled with his worst offensive season since 2009 (102 wRC+) and you have Bautista’s lowest WAR since before he was a Blue Jay.”

I also examined some other options last week on this weblog. Ian Kinsler and Logan Forsythe were most prominently mentioned, but neither appear to be going anywhere just yet.

“Other than those two, the other options aren’t terribly appealing. The Reds would love to ditch Brandon Phillips, but he is not a good player anymore. The Rangers have a nice trade chip in Jurickson Profar, but they’re not going to give him up for anything less than a stellar return (maybe the same or more than the Twins are expecting for Dozier). The Cardinals probably wouldn’t be opposed to moving Kolten Wong, but he also just isn’t that good. The Padres could stand to move a Ryan Schimpf, Cory Spangenberg or Yangervis Solarte, but the last time the Dodgers traded with the Padres, it was quite the public relations show. Solarte is the most appealing of the players listed, but his glove fits better at third base and the bat plays better at second. Perhaps there’s a match there, especially with Logan White potentially eyeing some of his former draftees.”

Other non-second base options also included Ryan Braun and Andrew McCutchen, but they seem even less likely to move than a guy like Dozier. Maybe the Dodgers re-engage the Brewers, but if they couldn’t come to an accord with the Twins for Dozier, it might be even more difficult to do so with Milwaukee for Braun.

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I’m not sure the Dodgers go into spring training or the regular season with the left field quintet of Andre Ethier, Darin Ruf, Trayce Thompson, Andrew Toles and Scott Van Slyke or the second base trio of Enrique Hernandez, Micah Johnson, Chris Taylor. They can’t, right? For a team that has done a great job this offseason of keeping their top-tier talent, it’d put a damper on that if they don’t upgrade at least one more spot in the lineup, and second base or left field are the only logical spots in which to upgrade.

At least this Dozier stuff is over … for now.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin’ Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif., and has yet to be shot.