The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired Brian Dozier from the Twins. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN confirmed the deal following multiple reports of it as it was going down. No word yet on the return back to Minnesota.
Given that the Dodgers already have a number of infielders it’s possible that Logan Forsythe could be headed to the Twins, as Ken Rosenthal speculates. As it is, he’s seeing little playing time. Dozier, of course, provides a clear upgrade over both Forsyth and the soon-to-retire Chase Utley. UPDATE: Yep, it is confirmed that the Twins will receive Forsythe, right-hander Devin Smeltzer, and outfielder Luke Raley.
Dozier is hitting .224/.305/.402 with 16 homers on the year. That’s a considerable falloff from what he’s done over the past several seasons, but perhaps a change of scenery will snap him back into form. And, as said, he’s a better option for the Dodgers than what they have now even if he stays his current course.
Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.
Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.
Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.