Where Does Dozier Fit?

Not long after the last pieces of wrapping paper had been picked up from Christmas morning, baseball’s rumor mill started to heat back up with a report out of Minnesota that the St. Louis Cardinals were in the mix for acquiring infielder Brian Dozier.

To be fair, Wolfson has followed up that he believes the Los Angeles Dodgers still remain the most likely to make such a deal, but he reiterated that St. Louis has been in contact about Dozier.

The idea of St. Louis trading for Dozier, however, raises more questions than provides answers.

Without question, the 42 home runs he hit last season would look good in most any lineup.

But traditionally, Dozier has not been a middle of the order big bat–rather the large majority of his plate appearances have come batting in one of the top two spots in the order. The Cardinals already have a variety of candidates to lineup behind Dexter Fowler.

16-9-6-dozierAlso, Dozier has played all but 85 of his 693 career big league games at second base. How much of an upgrade, if at all over Kolten Wong, he would provide at the position defensively is debatable.

Dozier is also going to turn 30 years old this season–not old by any stretch, but that is four years older than Wong and one year older than Jedd Gyorko.

For 2017, Dozier is set to earn $6.0 million while Wong is at $2.5 million and Gyorko at $6.0 million (2.0 mil paid by San Diego).

Minnesota is rumored to be looking for at least a top prospect from LA in exchange for Dozier, which if St. Louis were able to provide a suitable prospect of their own would only create a further logjam on the infield and amongst right-handed bats.

By itself, this move is lacking a smooth fit for St. Louis but perhaps some due diligence has been performed as other scenarios continue to be examined.

One consideration to keep in the back of your mind, as noted above the Cardinals are on the hook for $4.0 million this season as San Diego handles the other $2 million. The Cardinals share goes up to $6.5 million in 2018 and then $10.0 million for Gyorko in 2019.

That’s a sizeable amount for someone not in the starting lineup.

Especially considering Wong is scheduled to make $10.5 million combined over those same two seasons.

photo credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports,


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