Washington Nationals agree to one-year deal with Brian Dozier
By Blake Finney
The Washington Nationals business this offseason is far from done as they continued to add to their team with the addition of Brian Dozier.
The Washington Nationals search for a short-term upgrade at second base is over. The team reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with free agent Brian Dozier on Thursday morning.
Jeff Passan of ESPN was the first to report the deal and also mentioned that it will be for $9 million. There were recent rumors that had linked Dozier to the Milwaukee Brewers and the New York Mets, but evidently, the opportunity with the Nats was too good to turn down.
Dozier is coming off of a down season in which he split time between the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers. He slashed just .215/.305/.391 with 21 home runs, but he’ll be hoping for a bounce-back effort with the Nationals in order to get a big payday next offseason.
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Dozier has a lot of appeal to the Nationals for a couple of reasons. First is that he can add some much-needed power to a team that still hasn’t confirmed the return of Bryce Harper. He has a 172 home runs in just seven seasons, including a 42 homer season in 2016.
The second baseman will also add some much-needed clubhouse leadership to the team. He was seen as the leader of the team back in 2017 when the Twins made the wildcard game with a largely youthful team, so he should have the same effect in D.C.
Expect Dozier to immediately become the defacto starter at second base as he is already an upgrade on holdovers Howie Kendrick and Wilmer Difo. But this deal is largely just to bridge the gap to top prospect Carter Kieboom who is expected to see time at second in the minors before a major league debut either this season or next season.
One downside of Dozier is that it is yet another right-handed bat in a righty-dominated lineup. However, if he is indeed just keeping the spot warm for Kieboom, who is also right-handed, then it really shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
The Washington Nationals finally addressed the last glaring hole in their lineup with the signing of Brian Dozier. Now, all eyes are likely to be fixed on their pursuit of Harper, who could be the next domino to fall.