It appears Falvey & Co. may be on the verge of making their first big transaction of the off-season, sending Twins’ second baseman Brian Dozier to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for highly rated pitching prospect Jose De Leon. There may be more players attached to this potential deal, but it seems to hinge — at least for the Twins — on getting De Leon, according to various reports.
Stocking up on quality pitching is paramount for the Twins after the rotation got knocked around pretty good last season, resulting in the worst team ERA in the American League and 103 losses. De Leon would appear to fit the bill, according to MLB Trade Rumors:
De Leon entered the 2016 season ranked as a consensus top 30 prospect in the majors and did little to dispel the notion that he merited such praise. An ankle injury and some shoulder inflammation limited De Leon’s time on the field, but when healthy he totaled 86 1/3 innings (16 starts) in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League and registered a pristine 2.61 ERA with 11.6 K/9 against 2.1 BB/9.
That’s what the doctor ordered, but the Twins would not only be giving up on a good-hitting second baseman but also on a player who says he wants to stay in Minnesota. After the season the Twins had, there’s something to be said for a player’s willingness to stay committed to the organization.
Dozier’s production at the plate also meets some Dodger needs, according to MLB Trade Rumors:
In Dozier, the Dodgers would be acquiring a much-needed right-handed bat that can feast on left-handed pitching. Los Angeles was baseball’s worst team against lefties in 2016, but Dozier mashed southpaws at a .282/.352/.613 clip. Dozier’s 42 home runs last year thrust him into the national spotlight, but he’s quietly been an excellent player for the Twins in each of the past four seasons.
If Falvey & Co. can pull this off, the Twins could potentially add De Leon to the rotation, along with Adalberto Mejia — the top-ranked Giants’ pitching prospect acquired during the 2016 season — and pitcher Justin Haley, who the Twins acquired during the Rule 5 draft. More on Haley from MLB Trade Rumors:
The 25-year-old Haley pitched 146 2/3 innings between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket and posted a solid 3.01 ERA, 7.7 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. He was a sixth-round pick of the Red Sox in 2012.
Add all three and the Twins have quietly revamped the rotation.
Sources: Dodgers have shown willingness to include top pitching prospect Jose DeLeon in a deal for Brian Dozier. Would be strong headliner.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 16, 2016
multiple teams have been sniffing around about dozier. dodgers remain most logical though.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 16, 2016