Minnesota Twins: Would a Brian Dozier extension be wise?

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CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 27: Brian Dozier
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 27: Brian Dozier /
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Minnesota Twins
MIAMI, FL – JULY 09: Nick Gordon /

What’s the backup if he goes after 2018?

If Brian Dozier leaves, there will be two major holes left with the Twins – second base and leadoff. How will the Twins fill each?

Leadoff

On the 2017 Minnesota Twins team, five players finished with 100 plate appearances and a .350 or better on base percentage. Dozier was one of those. Two others are free agents after 2018. If the Twins are looking for a leadoff hitter among their current hitters, it’d likely be a step forward from Byron Buxton.

Coming up in the minor league system is Zack Granite, but he would need a position to play, and the Twins have their outfield set with young players. Nick Gordon has the ability to take a walk and is a quality base runner that could profile at the top of the lineup.

Otherwise, the Twins would be likely seeking a leadoff hitter that could play third base and push Miguel Sano permanently to DH or could DH himself.

Second Base

The leadoff issue will be much more of a problem to replace than a second baseman. We’ve covered the minor leaguers in the system who could cover second base in the future previously.

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The free agent market at second base will be intriguing if the Twins determine that Dozier is too expensive and choose to go for a less expensive route.

Elvis Andrus will have the option of opting out of his current contract with the Rangers. The Twins could pursue him as a leadoff man to play short and slide Polanco over to second base.

If the team was looking for a short-term cheaper option, someone like Jed Lowrie could end up being a good choice. While Daniel Murphy is likely going to get a significant deal and is not in Dozier’s class defensively, DJ LeMahieu has quality contact skills and glove work and could end up being a fit.

The Twins could also pursue the trade market, with a team like the Phillies having a logjam at the position already that could benefit the Twins next offseason.

Next: Twins should avoid becoming Pirates

Whatever the route the Minnesota Twins end up taking with Dozier, they do have plenty to consider in the move. While a move around some of their other free agents next offseason will be more cut-and-dry, the decision to retain Dozier or not will be a very intriguing one to watch develop.

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