Manny Machado has reportedly been traded from the Orioles to the Dodgers, meaning Twins second baseman Brian Dozier could be among the next big trade dominoes to fall.
Remember, just last week it was reported by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick that Dozier could be the fallback plan for three teams vying for Machado: Dodgers, Brewers and Diamondbacks. The Dodgers got him, so the D-Backs and Brewers might be shifting their focus to Dozier now.
Dozier's walk-off grand slam to beat the Rays on Sunday was a tremendous signal that the notoriously slow starter is once again heating up and due for a huge second half of the season.
Dozier's pre-All-Star break numbers this season are comparable to each of the last three seasons, of which he gained momentum before the break and continued smashing the ball in the second half of each season, especially in 2016 and 2017 when he finished with 42 and 34 homers, respectively.
- 2018: .230 AVG, 16 HR, 48 RBI, 19 2B, 60 R
- 2017: .242 AVG, 13 HR, 41 RBI, 17 2B, 39 R
- 2016: .246 AVG, 14 HR, 43 RBI, 16 2B, 47 R
- 2015: .256 AVG, 19 HR, 50 RBI, 26 2B, 67 R
Dozier, this season, hit .240 in April, .218 in May, .181 in June and so far in July he's hitting .298 with five homers and 17 RBI, and there are still 12 games left in the month.
What has to be really encouraging for the Twins and any team interested in acquiring Dozier is that he got super hot in the last eight games before the break, hitting .343 with four homers and 13 RBI – all while providing Gold Glove-caliber defense and being a veteran leader in the clubhouse.
It makes sense for the Twins to trade Dozier if they don't think they can chase down the Indians in the AL Central and they don't think they can re-sign Dozier as a free agent after the season.
Minnesota won nine of 11 games entering the All-Star break and shaved four games off Cleveland's lead during that stretch, but 7 1/2 games is still a very large deficit to overcome. FanGraphs puts the Twins' playoff chances at just 2.4 percent.
We'll keep a close eye on things as the July 31 MLB trade deadline nears.