The Dodgers have made no secret about its interest in Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. The new wrinkle, though, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN, is that the Cardinals are “very much in it” as well. Wolfson adds that the Nationals and Giants remain in dialogue with the Twins, too.
The Cardinals, of course, have a crowded infield as is with incumbent second baseman Kolten Wong. Wong played some outfield last season but it would make more sense if Wong were included in a deal that brought Dozier to St. Louis. Meanwhile, the Dodgers traded veteran 2B/OF Howie Kendrick to the Phillies and regular second baseman Chase Utley is still in free agency. If the season were to start today, Enrique Hernandez and Micah Johnson would handle the position.
Dozier, 29, had an outstanding 2016 campaign, finishing with a .268/.340/.546 triple-slash line along with 42 home runs, 99 RBI, and 104 runs scored in 691 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs’ version of Wins Above Replacement, only Jose Altuve (6.7) and Robinson Cano (6.0) were more valuable than Dozier (5.9) at the second base position.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.