Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Perspective on Dozier's Extension

Well Twins fans, Brian Dozier isn't going anywhere for the next four years.

What's that? He was already under team control through 2018. Then what just happened...

The Twins and Dozier agreed to a $20-million, four-year contract extension. This new contract covers his eligibility for salary arbitration in the coming years. However, the deal isn't long enough to impact his future timing of free agency. Contracts for pre-arbitration eligible players typically include options years for the team at the end but this one didn't.

So why did this deal get done?

Dozier's Perspective
$20 million will no doubt change the life of Mr. Dozier. He is now guaranteed that amount of money and he doesn't have to worry about going through the arbitration process. By not giving up any option years at the end of the deal, Dozier has the opportunity to hit the open market following his age-31 season.

Depending on his level of play and salary arbitration increases, Dozier might have given up a little bit of money at the end of this deal but he had to do that for it to make sense for the Twins. It sounds like Dozier wants to stay in Minnesota for the long haul even though he's been part of some bad Minnesota clubs. "Hopefully this is a steppingstone for something possibly even longer," Dozier said.

Minnesota's Perspective
The Twins seem to be pushing the fact that they have some cost certainty with Dozier throughout his arbitration years. If Dozier were to hit .320 with 35+ home runs, his arbitration salary could have gone through the roof. They now know what Dozier will get paid and they don't have to worry about the arbitration process. Minnesota has locked up players like Nick Blackburn and Joe Mays and ended up regretting the deal in the end.

Minnesota also likes the type of player Dozier is and what he means to this organization. "He has character. He's a good man. He's good in the clubhouse," general manager Terry Ryan said. "People follow him. We wouldn't extend this type of dollar figure and security to a guy that we don't trust. We trust him, on and off the field."

Aging Gracefully
Overall, Dozier debuted at an older age and will be Most sabermetric's would say that players peak around age 27 while a more recent study says players peak around age 29. Either way Dozier will be past his peak during the life of this contract.
playing in his age 28 season this year.

This deal could end up working out great for the Twins and maybe it ends up resulting in an even longer deal for Dozier. At this point, it doesn't seem like the Twins gained enough by locking up Dozier for his arbitration years. He's a valuable part of the deal but a similar deal could have been struck next off-season if Dozier continued to perform at a high level.

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