The new Minnesota Twins brain trust got some Twins fans a bit riled up when Brian Dozier was on the WCCO radio Sports Huddle show this past Sunday with Sid Hartman and Dave Mona. Mona asked Dozier if he has been in communication with Derek Falvey and Thad Levine and Dozier’s response was that he has not talked with either one since they were hired but he did his best to sugar-coat the fact that he was disappointed it hasn’t happened so far.
The rumors since the season ended have been that Brian Dozier will be traded. When I first heard the rumor I thought, that is a bunch of crap, why would they want to trade one of their best players?
But let’s get back to Falvey and Levine not communicating with Dozier, to me that is just plain wrong. Here is my thinking, when new management takes over the first thing they should do is listen, listen to what your players and staff have to say. Management needs to get buy-in from everyone, I know it is a new regime but why create problems when you don’t have too. Dozier is a leader on this team and one of its best players, not to mention he still has a very reasonable contract for two more years. Why leave him in the dark even if you are looking to trade him? If a trade doesn’t happen then you have a player that was wronged and that doesn’t help anyone. This isn’t strike one on Falvey and Levine but it is a rookie mistake that they should rectify as soon as possible.
Brian Dozier is one of my favorite players to watch, he hustles and he wants to win, what more can you ask? The team needs a leader and Brian Dozier is the guy that fits that mold the best. I would hate to see Dozier traded but having said that, there is some logic in trading Dozier.
The team lost a team record 103 games and won only 59 times this past season after winning 83 games in 2015. That means they were 24 games worse in 2016 than they were in 2015. I think if you look over history in MLB you will see that it is not all that unusual for young teams to take a dive after taking a big leap forward before resuming their climb upwards. This Twins team still has a lot of holes, don’t get me wrong, but it is not a team that you totally dismantle and rebuild. Yes, the Twins organization is rebuilding the front office but that doesn’t mean a total rebuild is necessary on the field. This is a young team that I expect to be much better in 2017 even if there are no major changes made. They got sand kicked in their face and trampled on in 2016 and they will be out to prove they are not as bad as they appeared to be in 2016.
Since the Twins are really not rebuilding in the normal sense of the word, it is important to add quality players to the mix versus quantity that you might normally look for when trading for youngsters in a rebuilding mode. In rebuilding you want to get as many potential players you can in the hope that one or two hit it big but they are all a gamble for the future. In the current Twins situation if the Twins trade Dozier they are trading a relatively young proven power hitting second baseman who can handle a glove and still has two years left on a good contract and you must get proven big league talent in return. The Twins need players that can play at Target Field in 2017 and not potential players that might play in 2019 or 2020 or beyond. If the Twins trade Dozier for young talent 2 or 3 or more years away you might as will pack it in right now, Target Field will be a ghost town. The Twins have good young talent on the roster, they just haven’t figured out where they need to play to have a chance to be successful.
I know this team lost 103 games this past year but Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are in a good spot, they need to fine tune things, not blow things up.
If you want to listen to the Justin Morneau and Brian Dozier interviews on Sports Huddle you can listen by going here. Listen to the 10 AM portion of the interview.