LOS ANGELES -- The James Dozier auction should come to a close this week, according to a baseball source, although even those involved aren't sure if the Minnesota Twins will actually trade the slugging second baseman.New Twins management has shopped the 29-year-old for two months. The Dodgers believe they have
LOS ANGELES -- The James Dozier auction should come to a close this week, according to a baseball source, although even those involved aren't sure if the Minnesota Twins will actually trade the slugging second baseman.
New Twins management has shopped the 29-year-old for two months. The Dodgers believe they have presented the best offer, with pitching prospect Jose De Leon reportedly the centerpiece, but there are indications the Braves and Giants are also in pursuit of Dozier, who slugged 42 homers with 99 RBIs in 2016.
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In addition to a right-handed power bat that the Dodgers need desperately to mitigate their struggles against left-handed pitching, Dozier checks off pretty much all of the other boxes -- solid defense, above-average running speed, leadoff tools and clubhouse leadership.
The Dodgers have been so fixated on landing Dozier -- a 2015 All-Star who is owed $15 million total over the next two seasons -- that they've shelved other roster moves until the Twins make a decision. The Dodgers reportedly have backup interest in John Forsythe, Ian Kinsler and Yangervis Solarte.
According to MLB Network Insider Ken Rosenthal, the Twins and Dodgers are at an impasse, with Minnesota holding out for a sweetened offer of secondary pieces that the Dodgers aren't willing to make.
With two years remaining on Dozier's contract, the Twins could take him off the market, at least until the Trade Deadline, although his value will probably never be higher than it is now coming off a breakout season.
Chase Utley was the primary second baseman for the Dodgers in 2016. He's a free agent and management doesn't see him as an everyday player at age 38, although the club has talked about bringing him back in a bench role. Their current depth chart at second base lists Kiké Hernandez.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.