Author: Aaron Gleeman

Brian Dozier

Twins working on a contract extension with Brian Dozier


Brian Dozier had a quasi-breakout season last year, hitting .242 with 23 homers, 21 steals, 89 walks, and a .762 OPS in 156 games to rank among MLB’s top all-around second basemen. And now the Twins are working to sign him to a contract extension.

Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the two sides are “making solid progress” on a deal and “it’s at least close” to being done.

Dozier is making the minimum salary for this season and would then be under team control via arbitration for 2016-2018, so any contract extension buying out at least one season of his free agency would have to be at least five seasons in length.

Because he was a college draft pick who moved relatively slowly through the minors as a mediocre prospect Dozier is just two months shy of his 28th birthday. Minnesota already has him under team control through age 31 and Dozier, while very good, is hardly an elite-level player with a lengthy track record of excellence, so committing guaranteed money to keep him for age 32 and beyond definitely carries some risk.

Cubs name Jon Lester as Opening Day starter

jon lester getty

Making official what was expected, the Cubs have named Jon Lester as their Opening Day starter.

Lester, who joined the Cubs on a six-year, $155 million deal in December, made the Opening Day start for the Red Sox last season and in 2013, 2012, and 2011.

He’ll be followed in the rotation by Jake Arrieta, Jason Hammel, and Kyle Hendricks, with the fifth spot up for grabs among Edwin Jackson, Travis Wood, and Tsuyoshi Wada.

Another weird spring training injury: Corey Hart and a hot tub

Corey Hart

Spring training injuries, man.

Chris Sale broke his foot stepping off his truck, Ronald Belisario broke his shoulder getting out of a swimming pool, and now there’s this from new Pirates outfielder/first baseman Corey Hart:

Hart is attempting to resurrect his career on a one-year deal as a part-timer in Pittsburgh and was already trying to remodel his game with less speed following multiple knee surgeries.