On Sunday, the San Diego Padres acquired second baseman, Brian Dozier. Does his invite to Spring Training potentially implicate a trade is in the works?
The second base position battle is going to be fun to monitor throughout Spring Training, and that was before the San Diego Padres added Brian Dozier on a minor league deal before Sunday’s spring opener. Dozier, 32, spent last season with the Washington Nationals and slashed .238/0.340/.430 with 20 home runs and 50 RBI in 135 games.
He received MVP votes between 2015 and 2017, but it would appear he’s no longer that player. Per the San Diego Union-Tribune, Dozier had several offers on the table, including both guaranteed and non-guaranteed contracts, but ultimately chose to sign with the Padres because he felt he had the best chance to play.
Dozier indicated that the potential to have a ton of at-bats appealed to him, and he intends to compete for the starting spot. His competition is going to primarily be Jurickson Profar, whose 2018 season seemed like a decade in the making. However, the 27-year-old regressed considerably last season with the Oakland Athletics, but hopes for a bounceback year with the Padres.
Behind Profar lies both Greg Garcia and potentially Ty France, among others. Garcia is a high on-base guy but does little in terms of production, and France hasn’t proven he can hit Major League pitching in what limited sample size we’ve seen. He raked at Triple-A El Paso but needs that to carry over if he is going to earn a roster spot and potentially compete to be the starter at second base.
Esteban Quiroz, Ivan Castillo, and Owen Miller could all make a case, but likely in a backup role. So now with a crowded infield, does the Dozier signing potentially mean that a trade is imminent? Last week, it was Wil Myers who was linked to the Boston Red Sox in what would be a salary dump for the Padres with Nick Senzel coming over in a three-team trade. However, nothing more has been reported on that since then, so I remain skeptical that will ever come to fruition.
However, a smaller trade would seem plausible if Dozier wins the starting gig at second base. The players mentioned above, as well as a pitcher who’s on the outside looking in, could be enticing for another team, especially as injuries pop up.
Right now, signing Dozier seems like purely a depth move, but General Manager AJ Preller has a reputation for making late offseason and Spring Training trades, so I suppose we should expect the unexpected. It will be interesting to see how Dozier performs throughout the spring.