Dozier trade rumors slowed but not halted

By SCOTTY NICHOLS
Sports Writer

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Brian Dozier has been a fixture this offseason

AP photo Fulton native and former Itawamba AHS/Southern Miss star Brian Dozier has become a hot topic of trade rumors this offseason. Potential landing spots could be Los Angeles, St. Louis or Atlanta, if he is not retained by the Twins.

AP photo
Fulton native and former Itawamba AHS/Southern Miss star Brian Dozier has become a hot topic of trade rumors this offseason. Potential landing spots could be Los Angeles, St. Louis or Atlanta, if he is not retained by the Twins.

in the rumor mill, regarding trade talks, but things seem to be slowing – if only for a moment.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been the primary suitor for the former Itawamba AHS and Southern Mississippi star but it seems as if the Dodgers are, at least for the moment, unwilling to part with the second half of a prospect package to ship back to Minnesota in a potential deal for Dozier.

The Dodgers have become a playoff contender each of the last few seasons and are trying to get over the hump for a World Series berth. Their key void to fill is at second base, where Enrique Hernandez -an outfielder, by trade- is the only returning roster member.

Los Angeles seeks an offensive upgrade over Hernandez, who hit a painful .190 in 216 plate appearances during the 2016 season.

Dozier would provide that massive offensive upgrade without losing performance on the defensive side.

Dozier hit .268 last season and blasted an American League-record for home runs by a second baseman, with 42, and also sports a career .988 fielding percentage at second base.

The Twins are also rebuilding, and a key need is young pitching.

The Dodgers have offered up prospect right-handed pitcher Jose de Leon, who struck out 15 batters in 17 innings of work to earn a 2-0 record last season, but the Twins are asking for another pitching prospect to complete the deal.

The Dodgers have refused to budge, at this point.

While a trade is still very possible, it is likely that Dozier will stay in Minneapolis if the Dodgers refuse to give up another prospect to accompany de Leon.

Los Angeles remains the most likely of all destinations of different scenery for Dozier, but there are other teams who remain interested.

The Atlanta Braves, who have a putrid group of second basemen, and St. Louis Cardinals have emerged as the other top possible landing spots for Dozier.

There is also a possibility that Dozier could begin spring training with Minnesota, then be dealt, at some point during the season, before the August 31 trade deadline.

scotty.nichols@journalinc.com
Twitter: @ScotNic24

About Scotty Nichols

Graduate of THE University of Mississippi. #HottyToddy. I like sports. And BBQ.

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