Why the Atlanta Braves Said No on Dozier

By the time you see this, the Twins may have already traded Brian Dozier and his 40+ homers.  Multiple reports are trying to link the Atlanta Braves into the mix for this trade sweepstakes.  They are all wrong.

The Atlanta Braves don’t need or want Brian Dozier.  Well… in a different situation, they probably would want him, but that’s not where things stand today.

A week ago, Jon Heyman tweeted that the Braves were one of the teams ‘kicking tires’ on Dozier.

But ten minutes later, if you hadn’t managed a screenshot of that tweet, there would have been no evidence that it had existed, for it seems that the Braves put that information down quickly.

However, in another story a few days later, MLB Trade Rumors suggested that the Braves might be “a reasonable fit”.  This morning, they doubled-down on that – suggesting that “the Braves and Giants have also been involved in talks”.

But… no.

What’s Not to Like?

Dozier is one of those hitters for which things “clicked” late.  He’ll be thirty in early May, but never hit more than 12 homers in any single season until 2013.

Since then, it’s literally been ‘bombs away”:   18 homers in 2013, then 23, 28, and the crazy 42 in 2016.  Oh, and he’s also a decent quality defender… slightly above average overall.

The Twins are probably figuring that 2016 was so far outside Dozier’s ‘norm’ that they’d better unload him while suitors are still trying to figure out what’s real.

But he also has 2 full years left on his very affordable contract, and that combination of circumstances has Minnesota  wanting to cash in.

We know that the Dodgers have offered #2 prospect Jose De Leon – 24 and a major league ready starter.  But that happened well before Christmas.  We’re still in a holding pattern on Dozier because Minnesota wants more… and they recently added a former Dodgers front office special assistant would would know exactly which buttons to push in trade talks.

Awash With Infielders

But for the Braves, while everybody on the outside seems to think that it’s as simple as upgrading Jace Peterson with Brian Dozier, it really isn’t like that at all.

This is not difficult to parse.  The Braves now have the following players lined up for 2nd and/or third base:

Yeah, Dozier can hammer the baseball – but Rodriguez might end up being his equivalent (he had 32 bombs 2009 and seems to be reclaiming that power stroke engine)… and Demeritte could be the heir apparent.

And then there’s this Maitan kid… of course he’s still only 16.

Meanwhile, what would Dozier cost the Braves?  Albies, almost certainly, plus another significant prospect.

Wanna give up six years of Albies and a promising pitcher for just 2 years of Dozier?  I didn’t think so.

Look:  the Braves will kick tires on everything between a Segway and Lamborghini… but come ‘on guys:  there’s “interest” in a player and there’s interest.

So all of y’all looking in with your binoculars from afar:  please look a little deeper.

Of course I suppose the good news is that these writers all seem to think that the Braves might be ready for a hitter such as Dozier to help finish off the rebuild.  That actually feels like some respect for the coming year.

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