In Florida and Arizona, MLB spring training has arrived. Pitchers and catchers are reporting for duty throughout the week. In the world of transactions and rumors, though, things continue to sort themselves out. Let’s dive in.
Brian Dozier retires
Former All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier has retired from his playing career, the Twins announced Thursday morning. The 33-year-old Dozier was an All-Star in 2015, won a Gold Glove in 2017 and got down-ballot MVP votes in 2015-17 (28th, 13th and 11th, respectively). His best year came in 2016, when he hit .268/.340/.546 (134 OPS+) with 35 doubles, five triples, 42 homers, 99 RBI, 104 runs, 18 steals and 5.8 WAR.
Those prime years all came with the Twins. In 2018, Dozier was traded to the Dodgers. He then spent 2019 with the Nationals and 2020 with the Mets. He appeared in three different postseasons, winning a pennant in 2018 and the World Series in 2019.
All told, Dozier appeared in 1,144 career regular-season games, hitting .244/.325/.441 (107 OPS+) with 1,055 hits, 231 doubles, 192 homers, 561 RBI, 664 runs and 105 stolen bases. He racked up over $30 million in career earnings in his parts of nine MLB seasons.
A’s sign Moreland and Rosenthal
The Athletics have agreed to sign free agent first baseman Mitch Moreland to a one-year, $2.25 million deal, reports Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
The 35-year-old Moreland was having a stellar offensive season with the Red Sox before being traded to the Padres and getting tripped up a bit, but the samples were both incredibly small. All told, he hit .265/.342/.551 (139 OPS+) with nine doubles, 10 homers and 29 RBI in 42 games.
The A’s already have lefty-swinging Matt Olson at first base. Moreland also hits left-handed, but there’s right-handed Chad Pinder and a DH spot. Between the three players, figure two to be filling first base and DH most games.
In a separate move, the A’s found their closer on Thursday. Oakland agreed to a one-year deal with righty Trevor Rosenthal worth $11 million. You can read more about Rosenthal’s deal here.
Yankees, Gardner still have mutual interest
The Yankees are still discussing a Brett Gardner return, reports Heyman. While Gardner has interest in returning, the salary remains a point of discussion. As such, with camp getting underway, Gardner is still a free agent.
Gardner is 37 years old and coming off a .229/.354/.392 (108 OPS+) season with five doubles, five homers, 15 RBI, 20 runs and three steals in three attempts. The 2019 season was one of his better in a 13-year career, however, as he produced his fifth 4+ WAR season.
Without Gardner, the Yankees look to have Clint Frazier in left, Aaron Hicks in center and Aaron Judge in right with Giancarlo Stanton as the DH. The fourth outfielder would be Mike Tauchman and they recently signed Jay Bruce as a left-handed bat bench option. Tyler Wade is also in the mix.
Basically, the Yankees don’t necessarily need Gardner. It’s a matter of if he wants to come down to their price or sign elsewhere for more money, assuming he can get it.