The Twins have not reached out to second baseman Brian Dozier regarding a contract extension, according to Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune. Dozier is in the final season of a 4yr, $20 million deal, and is set to enter a stacked free agent class later this fall if a deal does not come to fruition.
Dozier, 30, has spent all six seasons of his big league career in a Twins uniform, and has slowly developed into one of baseball’s most valuable second basemen. Dozier posted a career-high .359 OBP in 2017, en route to his second consecutive season with a bWAR above 4.0 (6.5 in 2016, 4.4 in 2017). The University of Southern Mississippi alum has now produced three consecutive seasons with an OPS+ above 100, with 134 and 127 marks in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
The Twins have a surplus of middle-infield talent within the organization; Jorge Polanco and Eduardo Escobar hold down the MLB spots while touted prospects Nick Gordon, Royce Lewis, and Wander Javier continue to develop. While Dozier certainly has the second base job locked in for 2018 in Minnesota, the influx of talent may have the front office hesitant to throw big money at the aging veteran.
Minnesota surprised many in 2017, holding their own in the AL Wild Card race and earning a trip to October in what many considered to be a rebuilding season. As Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, and Jose Berrios continue to mature, this year the club is being taken serious as a contender for the AL Central crown. If the Twins are anywhere near the postseason picture by July, don’t expect to see Dozier’s name thrown around too often in trade discussions.