Milwaukee Brewers: Brian Dozier, free agent target?
The Milwaukee Brewers still need to address second base in 2019. GM David Stearns has made it clear that the team prefers a short term solution to a long term answer. Could Brian Dozier solve their problem?
Johnathan Schoop wasn’t the answer. Jonathan Villar wasn’t the answer. Keston Hiura might be the answer of the future. Could Brian Dozier fit the Milwaukee Brewers as the second baseman of the present?
Who’s left on the second base market?
Troy Tulowitzki, Ian Kinsler, and Daniel Murphy are no longer options, but most of the names that have been mentioned all year are still available. Jed Lowrie, Josh Harrison, and D.J. LeMahieu are the top names left, but both are rumored to want multi-year deals. Given the Milwaukee Brewers depth in the middle infield at the upper levels of the Minors, they don’t really want to commit to a long term deal.
The other short term options like Neil Walker or Yangervis Solarte won’t really move the needle or end up as substantially better than the current internal options.
What’s the deal with Dozier?
Dozier’s market has been odd. There haven’t been a ton of teams connected to him this off season. He’s coming off a year that saw him post a 0.8 WAR with a .215/.305/.391 slash line. He’s only 31 years old and bashed 76 homers in 2016 and 2017.
Why was his 2018 so bad?
His BABIP was over 30 points lower than his career average. That plays a major role in his struggles. He also didn’t seem to care for playing in Los Angeles. His second half slash line was .187/.289/.326.
Dozier is also a righty who only really hits right-handed pitching. Pairing Dozier with one of the Milwaukee Brewers’ internal options could prevent his numbers from cratering again like they did in 2018.
The good news is that he wasn’t hurt, so getting out of Los Angeles, and a bounceback in BABIP could help him recover.
What kind of contract could he want?
Well, that depends on his agent. If he’s willing to sign a one-year, ‘prove-it’ deal, he could make sense for the Milwaukee Brewers. The only rumor on Dozier in the past few weeks have him linked to the Washington Nationals on a one-year deal. If he’s truly willing to sign with a contender on a short term deal, why not come to Milwaukee?
Dozier is a capable veteran with a track record of success before 2018. Coming to a hitter’s park like Miller Park, and a productive offense like the Milwaukee Brewers could help Dozier return to form, and give him another chance at free agency after next year. A bounceback season with a deep playoff run could make Dozier a lot more money than he’s likely to get this year. If he’s willing to bet on himself, and try for a ring, Dozier on the Brewers could make sense for both sides.