Published on July 31st, 2016 | by Thompson0
The case for trading Brian Dozier
Brian Dozier is beloved in Minnesota. He hits home runs in streaks, is a favorite of the media and has perfect hair. He’s also signed to a team-friendly deal that pays him $15 million over the next two years – $6 million next year and $9 million in 2018. The problem is Jorge Polanco plays second base best and should be playing there every day, because Dozier is slightly below average defensively at the position and will only get worse with time. He will turn 30 in May of next year.
Dozier has the eighth highest WAR (2.5) amongst second basemen this season, and the New York Mets have a black hole called Neil Walker playing barely above a replacement level player (.8 WAR) for $10 million. Walker is a free agent at the end of the year and is making $7 million more than Dozier this season, but the difference between the Mets making and missing the playoffs could very well be one or two games.
Dozier should bring a nice return, and the Mets have ample pitching. I’m not saying the Twins should take a chance on Matt Harvey, nor am I saying the Twins should expect an MLB-ready starter in return. What the Twins and Rob Antony can expect, though, is something they can’t get by trading anyone else on the MLB roster – a left-handed pitching prospect that throws hard, misses bats and projects as a top-of-the-rotation starter.
Given the Mets’ pitching depth, New York may be more willing to let one of their top pitching prospects go in a trade. One guy that stands out to me is Thomas Szapucki, who is likely three years away and has a mid-90s fastball and a good curveball. His delivery is “funky” and can affect his command, but he’s struck out 65 in 41.1 innings pitched in the minors, while walking just 13.
Although Twins’ fans would probably hate this deal, I think there’s value in allowing the young Polanco to play his best position everyday in exchange for some salary flexibility and a live arm with a lot of potential.