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The free agent market has slowed down for the holidays, but we’re still seeing a little life on the trade front. The Cardinals have suddenly entered into discussions for the Twins’ Brian Dozier, who hit 42 homers this past summer to set an American League record for second basemen. Dozier didn’t just go deep often, as he managed a .340 on-base percentage despite a low-ish batting average and slugged .546 courtesy of another 40 extra-base hits on top of all the dingers. St. Louis isn’t alone for Dozier’s services, with the Dodgers the other major player in these talks, while the Nationals and Giants remain involved.
Dozier is still under team control for another two seasons, and while he will see a massive raise in his second year of arbitration thanks to his 2016, he’ll still be a relatively inexpensive player. Well, in dollars, anyway: the Twins are looking to deal Dozier because they know the players they get back for him will be more important to their future than his next two seasons will be. The Dodgers, Cardinals, Giants, or Nationals will be helping to power Minnesota’s rebuild, not just taking a player making some money away, and since Dozier will still be in demand at the trade deadline this summer and next offseason, don’t expect the Twins to just give in to any old trade offer.
The Cardinals are the only one of the four teams interested in Dozier that missed the postseason in 2016, but they still won 86 games and did so despite the season-long absence of Lance Lynn from their rotation as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. Getting Lynn back and adding Dozier to the lineup would be huge for them, just as Dozier in the middle of the Dodgers, Giants, or Nationals order would make any of them that much more formidable. All four of these clubs want to keep up with the World Champion Cubs, and bringing Dozier around for the next two years is certainly one way to do that.
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