Dozier hit .268 with 42 home runs last season for the Minnesota Twins, both of which were career-highs. Rosenthal cites sources that said the Twins feel the Dodgers did not offer anything that matches Dozier’s worth, including a one-for-one deal for right-handed pitcher prospect Jose De Leon.
LaVelle E. Neal of the Star Tribune reported last week that the Twins were eager to make a final decision out of respect to Dozier.
Rosenthal’s report also states that the Dodgers will still be looking for outside help at second base. He mentions Tampa Bay Rays infielder Logan Forsythe and Ian Kinsler of the Detroit Tigers as possible targets for Los Angeles. Rosenthal reports that Kinsler will waive his no-trade clause if he’s sent to a team open to an extension.
Enrique Hernandez is the only player currently listed at second base on the depth chart on the Dodgers’ team website. Hernandez is coming off a season in which he hit .190 in a career-high 244 plate appearances.
Other in-house options include the team’s No. 4 prospect (No. 87 overall, according to MLB.com) Willie Calhoun. However, scouting reports indicate that he will not be a big-league second baseman, but rather a corner outfielder. Calhoun stands only 5-foot-8 but gained notoriety as a prospect for his power.
Rosenthal talks about the Dodgers’ lacking — in addition to an everyday second baseman — another right-handed bat in their lineup. Kinsler and Forsythe can fill both needs but come at a higher cost than currently available left-handed free agents.
Chase Utley joined the Dodgers at the deadline in 2015 and is open to a return to the club. Veterans Stephen Drew, Luis Valbuena and Dustin Ackley are mentioned in Rosenthal’s report as free-agent options that wouldn’t cost much money while allowing the Dodgers to hold on to their top prospects.
The Dodgers may have a potential solution for the future if they sign Utley or Valbuena for the short term. Cuban defector Jose Miguel Fernandez signed with the Dodgers on Sunday. He has played 18 games since 2014 and will require a lot of time in the minors. Should he reach the big leagues, he could potentially take over a starting job at second base.
Rosenthal posits that those prospects can then be dealt for a right-handed, power-hitting outfielder, such as Ryan Braun or Andrew McCutchen. Braun’s link to the Dodgers comes after multiple trade attempts last season. Los Angeles is among the six teams listed in Braun’s contract for which he cannot enact his no-trade clause.
McCutchen, similar to Dozier, was the subject of trade rumors that never made it out of the planning stages earlier this offseason.