With a new 4-year contract, Dozier locked into Twins’ future
The Minnesota Twins locked up a big part of their future last week when they signed second baseman Brian Dozier to a four-year contract. The deal kicks in this season and buys out Dozier's arbitration years, making him a free agent after the 2018...
The Minnesota Twins locked up a big part of their future last week when they signed second baseman Brian Dozier to a four-year contract. The deal kicks in this season and buys out Dozier’s arbitration years, making him a free agent after the 2018 season.
“Everything is headed in the right direction and hopefully the four-year deal is just a steppingstone for something even possibly longer,” Dozier said, according to MLB.com. “I’ve stated it many times: I want to be here forever.”
The deal is a good one for each side.
Dozier, who turns 28 in May, gets financial security over the next four years and also gets a raise this season; he was scheduled to make just $590,000 but will now pocket
$2 million. The deal calls for raises each season, paying Dozier $3 million in 2016, $6 million in 2017 and $9 million in 2018.
If Dozier continues his ascent, the contract will be a good one for the Twins. One of the better second basemen in all of baseball last season, Dozier hit 23 homers, stole 21 bases and scored 112 runs - becoming the first Twins player in a decade and just the sixth in franchise history to reach the 20/20 plateau.
“We anticipate he’s in the prime of his career,” general manager Terry Ryan said. “I suspect it’s going to spike, some of the numbers he has put up.”
Dozier has increased his home run and stolen base totals in each of his first three seasons. Despite a batting average that dropped two points from 2013, Dozier’s on-base percentage rose 33 points to .345, thanks to 89 walks - 38 more than in 2013.
That improved plate discipline helped Dozier become a staple near the top of Minnesota’s batting order and will do so again this season.
“It gave us some cost certainty; it gave Brian some security,” assistant general manager Rob Antony said. “There’s nothing to say that a year or two from now, we can’t revisit that situation and do something else.”
There is precedent if the Twins and Dozier want to extend the deal down the line. After signing pitcher Phil Hughes to a three-year, $24 million contract before the 2014 season, Minnesota signed him to a five-year,
$42 million extension that reworked the final two years of his original deal and added three additional seasons, keeping Hughes in Minnesota through 2019.
- RF Torii Hunter smashed his first homer of the spring March 24, a three-run blast that gave the Twins a 4-1 lead in an eventual 6-5 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. Hunter has just three extra-base hits this spring, but will see his at-bats increase over the final two weeks of spring training.
- LHP Brian Duensing was hit by a comebacker March 24 against the Blue Jays and had to leave the game. The team doesn’t think it’s serious, but was worried about the area stiffening up.
- C Josmil Pinto has seen his concussion-like symptoms disappear the past couple of days after he was hit in the mask three times by the bat of Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones on March 21. Pinto is battling Chris Herrmann and Eric Fryer for the backup catcher job behind Kurt Suzuki.
“When you give guys security like that, four years at the dollars we’re talking about, character plays a huge role, and he has character. He’s a good man. He’s good in the clubhouse. People follow him. We wouldn’t extend this type of dollar figure and security to a guy that we don’t trust. We trust him, on and off the field.” - Twins GM Terry Ryan on second baseman Brian Dozier, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press