Definitely there are reasons why an extension would be wise for the Twins with Dozier. However, why might it be a bad decision to extend Dozier?
The market this offseason is deflated, but very feasibly this market is deflated due to the incredible depth and talent in the 2018-2019 market. It is very possible that the teams are holding off to spend heavily next offseason.
That would put a ton of funds into the market to pursue big names. Now, many will go hard after guys like Josh Donaldson, Manny Machado, and Bryce Harper. However, not everyone will be able to land those guys.
Even the market for second base will have depth with Daniel Murphy, DJ LeMahieu, and Logan Forsythe all on the market as well. That should create some level of competition for “best fits” for each team at the position.
This is not a huge concern for Dozier in the immediate, however, Dozier would be 35 at the end of a 4-year deal. At that point, Dozier likely will either have lost enough of a step that second base will no longer be an option or have seen his skills decline enough to where his value is no longer what he’s being paid.
Loss of Financial Flexibility
One of the current blessings the Minnesota Twins have in their young roster is that no player has a contract beyond 2019.
Dozier is among 4 free agents after 2018. After 2018, though, the issue that will come soon for the Twins begins to come to fruition as Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Kennys Vargas, and Max Kepler each have their first year of arbitration.
The Twins will need to have a fairly high level of financial flexibility to be able to handle the arbitration cases that will begin that season and seasons after that for players like Jorge Polanco and Jose Berrios.
Depth in the Minors
The Minnesota Twins have a ton of depth at middle infield among their best prospects. Infielder Nick Gordon is likely going to be major league ready by the end of 2018. Jermaine Palacios will most likely be in the upper minors by the end of 2018. Luis Arraez will be an interesting player to see how he returns from a significant injury.
Most of these prospects are in the lower levels of the minors, but still those players could push their way to the majors by the time an extension would be wrapping up.
So, if the Twins don’t sign Dozier to an extension, what would be the plans for 2019 and beyond?
Next: Backup plan