According to multiple reports the Nationals and free-agent second baseman Brian Dozier have agreed to a one-year contract. The team has not yet confirmed the signing.
Free agent second baseman Brian Dozier is in agreement with the Washington Nationals on a one-year, $9 million deal, league sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 10, 2019
Dozier, 31, split last season between the Twins and Dodgers, hitting .215/.305/.391 (88 OPS+) with 21 home runs in 632 plate appearances. He hit 34 home runs in 2017 and 42 home runs in 2016. Dozier is not so old that a bounce-back year in 2019 is out of the question, plus his launch angle and exit velocity numbers were good in 2018. He's a nice buy-low candidate.
The, but even if Harper leaves, the club will still feature a strong starting lineup. Here's the batting order second year manager Dave Martinez could run out there this coming season:
- RF Adam Eaton
- SS Trea Turner
- 3B Anthony Rendon
- LF Juan Soto
- 1B Ryan Zimmerman
- 2B Brian Dozier
- C Yan Gomes/Kurt Suzuki
- CF Victor Robles
- Pitcher's spot
Prior to the Dozier signing, Washington's top in-house second base candidates were utility men Howie Kendrick, Wilmer Difo, and Adrian Sanchez. Kendrick at this point of his career fits best as a part-time player who moves around rather than a starter at second base. His mobility isn't what it once was and that figures to be especially true as he returns from an Achilles injury.