The Minnesota Twins and Brian Dozier agreed on a contract extension just weeks before the 2015 season began and the faith that the team showed in their starting second baseman has appeared to pay off.
2014 was Dozier’s first year as a full-time starter in the Major Leagues and he wasted no time establishing himself as one of the best second baseman in all of baseball. He lead the position group with 23 home runs, was second in extra base hits and fourth in on-base percentage, all while being a stellar defensive asset.
Dozier and the Twins settled on a four-year deal worth $20 million, which bumped his salary for this season well above the $540,000 he was scheduled to make. He was under team control through the 2018 season so the new contract didn’t impact when Dozier would finally be able to test free agency, but it did guarantee that the two sides would avoid any possibility of an arbitration hearing.
Guaranteeing a hefty pay raise for the 28-year-old when he was already under team control for the next four season could have been seen as a risk, especially if his 2014 season turned out to be a fluke, but that is far from the case. Dozier is once again leading all second baseman in home runs. He is also setting the pace for the group in runs batted in, fielding percentage and runs scored. Outside of his position, Dozier is currently second league wide in extra base hits, behind only Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds.
One thing that Dozier has done so well for the Twins this year is help set the tone as the team’s lead-off hitter. He is a .314 first inning hitter with four home runs and eight doubles. This has helped Minnesota jump out to a number of leads early in games which is why they’re currently sitting at 34-28, making them one of baseball’s surprise teams so far.
There should be no more doubt that Dozier is real talent and one of the best second baseman in the league as he builds on his impressive 2014 campaign. This makes his new deal one of the biggest bargains in baseball as Dozier just begins to enter the prime of his career. Even with his extension, he is only the 19th highest paid second baseman league wide in 2015. Even when the contract reaches full value and pays him roughly $9 million in 2018, he would still only be the eighth highest paid player at his position, which would continue to make this deal one of the best in baseball for the Twins.