Friday, December 30, 2016

Twins Request Final Offers For Dozier

Photo Credit: Brad Rempel, USA Today Sports
The Twins want some roster clarity as the calendar flips to 2017. According to a report from the Star Tribune's La Velle E. Neal III, "The club would like interested teams to step up with their best offer in the coming days, or they plan to prepare for the 2017 season with Dozier as their second baseman."

Trade rumors have been swirling around the Twins' face of the franchise after a monster season where he belted over 40 home runs. With two-years remaining on his contract at a team friendly price, there are multiple teams interested in acquiring the second baseman.

Here's a recap where things are when it comes to a Dozier deal.

The Dodgers continue to be the team most likely suited to acquire Dozier. Los Angeles has a surplus of pitching prospects and a desire to win now. Jose De Leon's name is the one that has been most associated with the Twins. The right-handed pitching prospect was a top-25 prospect entering last season while making his MLB debut at age-23.

According to Neal, the Dodgers have been pushing for a straight Dozier for De Leon trade. The Twins have wanted the addition of another top prospect like first baseman Cody Bellinger or right-handed pitcher Yadier Alvarez. Los Angeles hasn't budged in their offer.

Other teams rumored to be interested are the Giants, Cardinals, and Braves. If the Giants want to work a deal, they would likely need to bring in a third team because their farm system doesn't have as many high caliber prospects. They also have Joe Panik to play second base so Dozier could need to move to third base, a position he has little experience playing.

Chatter surrounding the Cardinals interest in Dozier peaked last week when KSTP's Darren Wolfson reported that the Cardinals are "very much in it." However, the Cardinals might be hesitant to include their top prospects like right-handed pitcher Alex Reyes or catcher Carson Kelly. Some believe the Cardinals reported interest in Dozier was a ploy from the organization to get more value squeezed out of the Dodgers.

Washington was aggressive this off-season by trading multiple prospects to the White Sox to acquire Adam Eaton. This might leave them little in the tank when it comes to dealing for Dozier. Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post said the Nationals "haven't made any serious inquiries on Twins' Dozier." She went on to say that there was "no natural fit there."

Atlanta has been working on their own rebuild so it doesn't seem likely that they would want to trade away top prospects for the remaining years on Dozier's contract. Dozier would help their current squad make strides in the right direction but their organization is built to win in the future, not in the present.

While the Dodger continue to seem to be the most likely fit, Los Angeles is going to have to up their offer for the Twins to take a deal. With multiple years remaining on his contract, the Twins could wait until the trade deadline and hope there are more teams willing to deal away their top talent. This would also require Dozier to continue to play the way he did in the second half.

Time might be running out on a Dozier deal.

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