Just before the first Spring Training game, the San Diego Padres have added Brian Dozier on a minor league deal with an invite to Major League camp.
This signing quietly went under the radar, so much that the beat reporters walked into the Spring Training clubhouse and noticed that Brian Dozier had a locker. The former Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins second baseman was brought in on a minor league deal and, he’ll have a chance to provide depth on the Major League roster.
Dozier, 32, slashed .238/.340/.430 with 20 doubles, 20 home runs, and 50 RBI in 135 games (95 OPS+) with the Nationals last year, but had just six at-bats in the team’s quest to win the 2019 World Series.
The signing likely means that the Padres’ front office doesn’t have much faith that Jurickson Profar will recreate his 2018 numbers, after slashing .218/.301/.410 with 20 home runs and 67 RBI (90 OPS+) in 139 games with the Oakland Athletics last year.
Behind Profar lies Greg Garcia, who profiles as a high on-base guy, but does little in terms of productivity when putting the ball in play. Garcia played in 134 games last year but had just four home runs and 31 RBI to show for it.
Elsewhere on the roster, Ty France would figure to be the next in line for a considerable amount of reps at second base. He tore the cover off the ball at Triple-A El Paso last year – .399/.477/.770 line with 27 home runs and 89 RBI – but that failed to translate to the big leagues in a 69-game sample.
Dozier is a couple of years removed from a .271/.359/.498 line with 34 home runs and 93 RBI in 152 games but struggled in both 2018 and 2019. As noted, he likely won’t have a significant impact on the roster but could have potentially been brought in because of his success against left-handed pitchers; 0.270/.354/.500 (.855 OPS) with 55 home runs and 147 RBI for his career.