Los Angeles Dodgers Trade Twins’ Target, Jose De Leon, to Tampa Bay for Second Baseman Logan Forsythe
It appears that All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier will remain a Twin this season, at least for the beginning of the season anyway, as their top trading partner, the Dodgers, found their new second baseman in a trade with Tampa.
For over a month, the two teams have been linked in trade talks, with the Dodgers acknowledging that De Leon was available to be had. But the Twins’ new front office of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine wanted more than just him for a second baseman coming off such a historic season.
From Jon Morosi of MLB.com:
Why did it fall through?
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It appears that the Twins were reaching too high, their asking price too much. Which is understandable given their investment in Dozier and the fan support for him.
Coming off a 103-loss season, you don’t want to just give away your one star that has already arrived. While they have young, up-and-coming players, you need some veterans to lead the way.
If Falvey and Levine had two or three players they wanted and L.A. balked, the new duo at least showed they cannot be pushed around so easily.
Also, it appears the Twins may have been hedging their bets on Jose De Leon. While he was the centerpiece, they wanted to make sure there was at least one other high-upside prospect involved in case De Leon didn’t pan out as expected.
The front office didn’t want to have to look back in five years on this trade and have nothing to show for it, like the Johan Santana trade a few years ago.
One reason to hedge, is that while the Twins were high on De Leon, not every MLB club was. From Buster Olney (ESPN):
If he was so sure-fire, and L.A. was in such desperate need of starting pitching after Clayton Kershaw went down, why didn’t Jose De Leon get the call for an extended look?
For now, Dozier is a Twin, and that’s not a bad thing. He solidifies the top of the batting order, provides high end defense, speed on the bases, and power unseen at his position – even in this day and age of power seemingly at every position.
New Twin major league coach, Jeff Pickler, was very familiar with the Dodgers’ farm system. He had just spent two years serving as the special assistant for pro scouting and player development.
Twins appeared to want either 1B/OF Cody Bellinger (whom the Dodgers say is untouchable) or pitcher Brock Stewart. If failing on either of those for a 2-for-1, they wanted two more lesser (but still high-ranked} pitching prospects.
In the end, we are where we were in November. Dozier still the starting second baseman, and Jorge Polanco a square peg (second baseman) in a round hole (shortstop). Pitchers and catchers report in less than a month.
Notes: Twins face Kansas City April 3rd to begin the 2017 season, who will be without Yordana Ventura, who was killed this past week in an auto accident in his homeland of the Dominican Republic.