Cleveland Indians: A look at Brian Dozier as a potential trade target
By Phil Gasser
The trade deadline is just over a month away and the Cleveland Indians could use an upgrade in the lineup. Brian Dozier could be a potential target.
After absolutely throttling the White Sox in the last series and riding another win streak, the Cleveland Indians offense once again looks to be clicking. Just like the Cleveland weather, the Indians offense seems to change by the day.
One day they are putting up 12 runs and knocking the ball all around the park and the next they can’t get a hit off a pitcher with a 9.00 ERA. It’s puzzling.
Despite all the inconsistency, there have been two constants: “Jose the Stud” and “Kip the Dud,” (I don’t like that I rhymed there but it worked). I wrote about it before the season began but I was optimistic that Kip would bounce back from the injury plagued year he had last year. Unfortunately, I was very wrong.
Even after getting “hot” at times, Kip is still slashing .208/.282/.328. His defense hasn’t been horrible but take a look at the horrible play he had on Tuesday night and see why he still isn’t the best at times. Maybe it is time we thank Kipnis for his time and send him on his way.
I think a possible trade partner could be right in our own division. The Twins have been a disappointment to their fans for most of the year. Despite owning the Indians so far this year, the Twins are still six games back of the Tribe.
The Twins biggest question mark is with what to do about Brian Dozier. He is a free agent at the end of the season and it doesn’t seem likely he is going to sign with the Twins. The combination of their lackluster start and Dozier’s struggles should make him a piece the Twins try to move before the July deadline.
The Indians make sense for a couple of reasons. The first is that the Twins trip to playoffs last year was more than likely a flash in the pan. I’m not saying they won’t make the playoffs soon but last year seemed to be very ahead of schedule. They still desperately need young pitching and their young talent in the field either can’t stay healthy (Buxton) or have struggled for most of this year (Kepler).
I’m not saying the Indians need to move Francisco Mejia or Triston McKenzie but we have some other young prospects that would be appealing to the Twins. I love him but Adam Plutko could be something they jump at. The Tribe shouldn’t have to give up as much for Dozier due to his lack of production so far and how good Plutko has been.
From the Indians side, this deal makes even more sense. Dozier has killed the Indians for most of his career. Honestly, he has killed most of the league for the past couple of years. He has led all second basemen in home runs and set a league record for a second baseman in 2016 with 42 home runs. By putting him on the Tribe, you add another power bat and get him away from a division rival.
The biggest reason why trading for Dozier makes sense is because the Tribe have a real shot at signing him. With the crop of free agents coming this offseason, Dozier could get lost in the shuffle. With guys like Manny Machado and Bryce Harper being the monster names, Dozier just doesn’t stand out as much,which is a shame because he is a great player.
Next: Who will be the next big call-up from Columbus?
The hardest part of the whole trade would be trading within the division and if the Twins believe they have a real shot at the division, they will be hard pressed to actually give up Dozier, especially to someone in the division. If I were to give this trade a percentage chance of happening ,I’d put it at 40 percent.