Minnesota is hoping to keep its lineup consistent moving forward, and took a step towards that goal on Tuesday. According to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince, the Twins signed Brian Dozier to a 4-year, $20 million extension that does not include a no-trade clause.
Dozier, 27, will be paid $2 million in 2015, $3 million in 2016, $6 million in 2017, and $9 million in 2018. He had success at the plate with the Twins last season, posting a .242/.345/.416 batting line to complement 23 home runs and 71 RBIs. After signing the deal, Dozier received a raise for 2015, as he was expected to earn $590K as a pre-arbitration player. The deal bought out his final pre-arbitration year and three of his arbitration years. Since the new contract does not include any club options, Dozier will still become a free agent after the 2018 campaign.
Although his batting average may not suggest it, Dozier is one of few Twins second baseman to provide consistent power at the plate. Kirby Puckett and Corey Koskie are the only other Twins to post 20 home runs, 20 stolen bases, and 100 home runs in a season. With regard to his salary, Dozier will still be a middle tier second baseman, with several middle infielders receiving more extensive deals.
2014 was only Dozier's second full season as a starter, however he proved to be consistent, putting together 707 plate appearances over 156 games. He is still looking to become consistent defensively, having posted 15 errors last season, but he made several highlight-reel plays in 2014 and can turn a double-play notably well. Dozier was also second in all of baseball with 475 assists a season ago, and was voted the team's best defensive player by the club's Baseball Writers' Association of America reporters.
Dozier was Minnesota's eighth round pick as a shortstop in 2009, and was reportedly discussing an extension with the Twins earlier this month.