5. Give Brian Dozier a multi-year extension
Last, but not least, the Twins should lock up their Gold Glove, power-hitting second baseman. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2014, Brian Dozier has been the heart and soul of this team, establishing himself as the leader in the clubhouse. After countless trade rumors last offseason, Minnesota wasn’t able to find a trade for Dozier and thankfully, they didn’t. Without him, they likely don’t make the playoffs. Plain and simple.
Sure, he didn’t have quite the offensive numbers he had in 2016, but he still led the team with 34 home runs and 93 RBIs. Additionally, he had a career-high .271 average and received his first Gold Glove Award. In reality, it’d be quite hard to replace that kind of production in the lineup.
Now, top prospect Nick Gordon is destined to make his way to the pro game sooner than later and Jorge Polanco broke out in a huge way after a rough start in 2017. Nevertheless, Dozier is simply too valuable to let go of. In other words, there are not many second basemen better than him in the league.
With playoff hopes restored in Minnesota, trading away Dozier would be detrimental to their chances of making the playoffs next season. The only exception would be if they were to acquire an elite MLB ready starting pitcher in a trade, but that’s unlikely to happen for a veteran second baseman. Basically, most teams willing to give up a top pitcher are non-contending teams wanting prospects in return.
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All things considered, the Twins may be better off trading Gordon away as part of a package deal for a top MLB starting pitcher (Maybe, Gerrit Cole?). In turn, they could extend Dozier three or four years and pair him with the blossoming Polanco. The other option is to offer Polanco in a trade, but he figures to have the least value at the moment. Although, that could all change if he were to continue to play as well as he did at the end of last year.
Ultimately, a three- or four-year extension is the best move the Twins can make rather than allowing him to test free agency next offseason or force a bad trade prior to then. Taking into account the trade offers for Dozier last offseason, it’s hard to imagine they’d get much better either. In that case, extending their top offensive weapon and infielder to a multi-year deal is the wise move to make. A well-deserved deal in the $15-17 million a year range sounds fair for the consummate professional.
Time will tell if any of these moves come to fruition, but three things are clear: the Twins need starting pitching, bullpen arms, and another power hitter in their lineup. Not to mention, an extension for one of their clubhouse leaders. Fortunately, this offseason presents a great opportunity to fill those needs so that Minnesota can continue their winning ways in 2018.