The Washington Nationals have Daniel Murphy at second base, but could they be looking to trade for another second baseman?
This offseason, the Washington Nationals have already made one blockbuster trade when they acquired Adam Eaton from the Chicago White Sox. Is there a chance that another big trade with another American League central team could happen?
Yesterday, Darren Wolfson of ESPN Radio 1500 and news channel KTSP in Minneapolis tweeted that the Washington Nationals are one of four teams that are talking to the Minnesota Twins about second baseman Brian Dozier. While the Nats are talking about Dozier, they are not considered the frontrunner:
A few hours after that tweet, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reported that the Nats interest in Dozier is not as serious:
Dozier had a career season with the Twins in 2016. The 29-year-old right-handed hitter (turns 30 in May) had a slash line of .268/.340/.546 with 42 home runs (third in the American League), 99 RBI’s, and 105 runs scored. He has two years and $15 million left on his deal.
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Outside of Dozier’s power, he also brings a speed element to the table. His five triples were tenth in the AL last season and his 18 stolen bases were second among all AL second baseman (Jose Altuve led with 30). In the field, Dozier had three defensive runs saved (according to Fangraphs), which was an eight run improvement from 2015.
The big question surrounding the Washington Nationals reported interest in Dozier is whether or not they need to add another second baseman. However, Daniel Murphy could always move to first base, a position he played 21 games at in 2016 and 211 games at over his seven-year career.
If Murphy were to move to first base that would mean Ryan Zimmerman would go to the bench. Zimmerman still has three years left on his deal and is one of the veteran leaders in that clubhouse. If there is any manager who could handle that kind of shakeup, it’s the current manager, Dusty Baker. But, do the Nats need that kind of clubhouse shakeup right now?
While Dozier would add more power to the Washington Nationals lineup, I wouldn’t expect him to be wearing a curly W uniform in 2017. To me, Dozier is more likely to go to the Dodgers because they have one of the best farm systems in all of baseball and they are in need of adding a second baseman.
When you look at the Twins organization, they are in need of adding young starting pitching . The Washington Nationals gave up a lot of their young pitching when they dealt Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, and Dane Dunning to the White Sox in the Eaton deal. How much more young pitching would the Nats be willing to give up for Dozier, who is under contract for just two more seasons?
Yes, Dozier would be a good fit to add to this lineup from a power perspective and would bring better defense at second base than Murphy. However, I wouldn’t expect the Washington Nationals to pull off this trade with the Twins. Dozier would be a good fit, but the Nats still need to figure out who their closer is going to be in 2017.