Brian Dozier reiterated that he expects to become a free agent after not having any talks with the Minnesota Twins on a contract extension this offseason.
“I will be a free agent this fall,” Dozier told the Star Tribune in an interview published early Monday morning. “That’s the bottom line. You can only say you want to be here so much, and nothing gets done.
Dozier has emerged as one of baseball’s best offensive second basemen, combining to hit 76 home runs with 192 RBIs and an .871 OPS over the last two seasons. He belted 42 homers in 2016 — an American League record for a second baseman — and had another outstanding season in 2017, batting .271 with 34 homers and 93 RBIs while helping Minnesota reach the postseason for the first time since 2010.
Despite a slow free-agent market this winter, Dozier is not concerned about hitting the open market. He would join a potentially historic free-agent class that could include Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw, Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson, Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel and Andrew Miller.
“I think teams have gotten a lot smarter, and they really break down the numbers,” he told the Star Tribune, referring to this offseason’s lack of free-agent activity. “The biggest thing in free agency is really making sure agents know their players’ value, and that their players understand that. … I think my better years are ahead of me, because of the way I feel and what I put into my body.”
“I’ve spent enough of my career in the minor leagues,” he told the Chronicle.
Sunday’s move involving Labourt is the second time in three days he has been claimed off waivers. The Reds have claimed him off waivers from the Detroit Tigers on Friday.
Labourt, 23, had a 4.50 ERA in six appearances for the Tigers last season. In three stops in the minors last season he was 1-1 with four saves, posting a 2.17 ERA in 66 1/3 innings.
Eric Karabell: The starting pitcher I will be most interested in for drafts will depend on the options secured earlier, to some degree. I will mostly look for strikeout options, of course, and for the middle rounds I have tended to avoid injury risks, thus I have no shares of Leo Howell’s coveted McCullers. Godley’s performance looks legit to me, and now that the humidor is in effect in Arizona, I could see him repeating his numbers. I suppose Weaver could have a season like Godley just did, but if each is available I would likely go with the more proven option.