August 1, 2018

Farewell, Brian Dozier

The July 31 trade deadline has come and gone and the Twins have said goodbye to five players, including longtime second baseman, Brian Dozier, who was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Dozier, until Tuesday, had only known one team in his major league career: The Twins. He spent seven seasons with the club after he was drafted by the Twins in 2009. He made the team in 2012 and there he stayed, establishing himself as a homer-hitting second baseman who will be best known for smashing 42 home runs in 2016.

I imagine Dozier felt a sense of deja vu Tuesday because the Twins tried to trade him to the Dodgers last season. Then, the Twins were reportedly interested in Dodger pitching prospect Jose De Leon and slugger Cody Bellinger. The Dodgers weren’t interested in that deal, so they sent De Leon to the Tampa Bay Rays for second baseman Logan Forsythe. And that’s who the Dodgers sent to the Twins Tuesday: Forsythe, plus prospects Devin Smeltzer and Luke Raley.

More from MLB.com:

Forsythe, 31, was included in the deal because he’s making the same salary as Dozier this season ($9 million) and the Dodgers wanted to avoid going over the luxury tax. He also gives the Twins a veteran infielder for the second half, but he’s hitting .207/.270/.290 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 70 games this season.

 

Smeltzer, 22, has posted a 4.73 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 19 walks in 83 2/3 innings at Double-A. He had been starting early in the season but moved to relief in July.

 

Raley, 23, is the headliner for the Twins, as he ranked as the Dodgers’ No. 19 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. The left-handed-hitting first baseman/outfielder is having a solid year at Double-A Tulsa, hitting .275/.345/.477 with 17 homers, 17 doubles and 53 RBIs in 93 games. He’s expected to move into an outfield role with Double-A Chattanooga.

Longtime Twin Joe Mauer shared his thoughts about losing five players to trades.

“It’s been tough,” Mauer told MLB.com. “We’ve lost some really good people, some really good players and really close friends. It’s disappointing on a lot of levels. But I understand. It’s a business, and I don’t like to say that, but it really is when things like this happen. But I try not to worry about things I can’t control. “

Extra innings…

-The Twins played baseball Tuesday and lost to the Cleveland Indians, 6-2.

-Adalberto Mejia gets the ball Wednesday.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.