Pohlad: Emotion won't cloud Dozier dealings
MINNEAPOLIS -- Sixty-seven days after introducing his new baseball-operations tandem, Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad waits patiently for a resolution on Brian Dozier's trade market.
MINNEAPOLIS - Sixty-seven days after introducing his new baseball-operations tandem, Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad waits patiently for a resolution on Brian Dozier's trade market.
As tough as this protracted process has been on the Twins' slugging second baseman and a fan base that has come to admire his personality and grit, it must be emotionally draining for the club's owner as well. After all, as Pohlad said a year ago at this time that the Twins always seem to be trading off his favorite players.
"I can't say it's difficult emotionally," Pohlad said after Thursday's concert announcement that Billy Joel will play Target Field on July 28. "I love Brian Dozier, but nobody loves a 100-loss season."
While the years of club control were different, Pohlad noticed the bounty of highly ranked prospects the Chicago White Sox were able to secure in separate trades a month ago for left-hander Chris Sale and right fielder Adam Eaton. Dozier is only signed through 2018 at a combined $15 million, but like their division rivals the Twins are seeking to set themselves up for the future.
"That's what they want to do, I'm sure," Pohlad said of chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine. "They want to win. I'm sure they know the value of Brian Dozier to this club, and it's high. But they also know the value of winning."
Falvey said as much Thursday when explaining why emotion must be separated from the equation when it comes to considering a trade for the Twins' MVP.
"We have two obligations," Falvey said. "The first and foremost is to the Minnesota Twins to do the best thing by Jim Pohlad, the Pohlad family and this organization. And that's our goal. That's always our goal. The second obligation I see is the one we have to our players: to try and treat them as fairly and as honestly as we can."
In addition to keeping Dozier in the loop on trade talks with the Los Angeles Dodgers and other potential suitors, the Twins' front-office combo has shared details with manager Paul Molitor, who admittedly would prefer to keep Dozier as he enters the final season of a three-year contract.
"Here's a guy who's on the rise, coming off a (breakthrough) season that potentially could influence our team by bringing back hopefully a plethora of talent," Molitor said. "To hold your ground is the right thing to do. I would love to have Brian Dozier back, but I also understand that if they receive the value they feel is warranted given the circumstances that they'd have to consider it."
So while the Twins and Dodgers probably won't be burning as many cell minutes with each other in the coming days just to trample well-worn ground, the fact remains a deal that sends Dozier to Los Angeles remains a phone call (or email) away.
Pohlad appreciates why a firm deadline on Dozier's fate simply can't be issued.
"You may look kind of foolish later on when you go, 'Oh, you said you weren't going to,' and then all of a sudden you do it," Pohlad said. "But you can't (stop taking calls) because somebody comes and they say, 'Oh, this is our final offer,' but then maybe a week later they have another final offer. So you can never say that. I agree with that philosophy."
Nine years ago then-Twins GM Bill Smith spent all winter fielding offers for two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana before eventually dealing him to the New York Mets for a four-player package headed by Carlos Gomez. That deal wasn't announced until Feb. 2.
Asked whether this Dozier Derby reminds him of the long wait for a Santana deal, Pohlad pleaded amnesia.
"When was that?" he said with a grin. "I don't remember that much at all. I can't remember yesterday."
Nor, he said, does he get regular updates on names of specific prospects the Twins could receive in return for Dozier.
"Absolutely not," Pohlad said. "They wouldn't mean much to me anyway unless it was a known (player) - (Jose) Altuve or somebody like that. Then I'm going to go, 'Yeah, OK.' "
So don't expect Pohlad to run to his laptop to fire up the latest YouTube highlights of young right-hander Jose De Leon, widely reported as the linchpin of any Dodgers trade offer for Dozier.
"Prospect guys? That's not going to happen with me," Pohlad said. "What do I know? I don't pretend to be an expert at this."