MLB Trade Rumors: Latest on Brian Dozier, Zach Britton and More

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 22, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 15: Brian Dozier #2 of the Minnesota Twins rounds the bases after hitting a walk-off grand slam against the Tampa Bay Rays during the game on July 15, 2018 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Rays 11-7 in ten innings. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

On Saturday, the New York Mets traded closer Jeurys Familia to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for two prospects and international bonus pool money.

That deal took one of the bigger names remaining off the trading block, but numerous position players and pitchers are bound to change cities before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Here's a look at the latest news on two second basemen and the most-coveted reliever on the market. 


Brian Dozier

Per ABC 5 Eyewitness News sports anchor and 1500 ESPN Radio host Darren Wolfson, there's some trade chatter surrounding Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier:

Darren Wolfson @DWolfsonKSTP

There's been a lot of chatter about the Brewers being after #MNTwins 2B Brian Dozier, and rightfully so. But word is another team has been showing stronger interest. Twins FO definitely open-minded to moving the fan/media favorite.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and The Athletic also said the Milwaukee Brewers are interested in Dozier:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Among the players the #Brewers are expected to target now that they have lost Machado: #Twins 2B Brian Dozier. Team also will explore pitching upgrades as well.

Four players (Jonathan Villar, Brad Miller, Eric Sogard and Hernan Perez) have played second base for the Brewers this season. Villar has been there the most (74 games), but he's currently on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained thumb. Prior to the injury, Villar was batting .261 with a .693 OPS.

The issue is that none of the four aforementioned players are hitting particularly well this year, so the Brewers may want to find someone with a little more pop at second base.

Although he is currently experiencing a down year, Dozier could help in that regard. For the year, the Twins' second baseman has 16 home runs. He only has a so-so .724 OPS this year, but the 31-year-old Dozier sports a .774 OPS lifetime and may experience some positive regression soon.

With the Los Angeles Dodgers dealing for Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, the National League pennant race just got much tougher for the senior circuit's other 14 teams. The Brewers should make a move here to try to keep up.


Asdrubal Cabrera

Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, numerous teams have interest in New York Mets second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera:

Mark Feinsand @Feinsand

Familia not the only Mets player drawing interest; source says multiple teams have inquired about Asdrubal Cabrera, though no deal is imminent. Brewers and D-backs believed to be among potential suitors.

Putting two and two together, it's clear the Brewers are looking for a second baseman, as they have reported interest in two of the best ones on the trading block. The Arizona Diamondbacks, however, could be a better fit.

Cabrera has been a shortstop for most of his career, so he's a capable middle infielder who can handle either position. Second baseman Ketel Marte (nine home runs, .247 batting average, .745 OPS) and shortstop Nick Ahmed (12 home runs, .226 average, .702 OPS) haven't done poorly at the plate this year, but Cabrera (17 home runs, .819 OPS) would be an upgrade over either of them at the dish.

It also helps that Cabrera is a switch hitter, as he can replace Ahmed on days Arizona is facing a righty. For the season, Ahmed is managing just a .650 OPS against righties, although his lefty OPS is a solid .800. Against lefties, Cabrera (at second) and Ahmed could handle the middle infield responsibilities.

Ultimately, Cabrera is in the midst of a solid two-and-a-half year run where he's posted 54 home runs and an .806 OPS. He should be a strong asset for any team that picks him up prior to the deadline.


Zach Britton

Per Buster Olney of ESPN, expect Baltimore Orioles reliever Zach Britton to get moved sooner rather than later:

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

Sources: Orioles doing their business with alacrity -- they are looking to move Zach Britton this weekend or early in the week ahead. Lots of contenders continue to be involved in the conversation.

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

Britton is a one-of-a-kind item on the market right now, so the Orioles will likely get good return -- tons of closing experience, power stuff, lefty, and because he didn't pitch in first half, should be relatively fresh for stretch drive/October.

A look at the bottom half of the league in bullpen ERA reveals that numerous contenders need some relief help. Of note, the Seattle Mariners (16th), Philadelphia Phillies (17th), Atlanta Braves (19th), St. Louis Cardinals (24th), Colorado Rockies (28th) and Cleveland Indians (29th) are there.

The Tribe made some moves for bullpen help recently, so they are likely out of any bidding for Britton, but a desperate team looking for a solid arm may go over the top and give the Orioles an offer they can't refuse.

Of note, the Braves look like a very good fit. Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution gave reasoning why:

"Arodys Vizcaino is on the disabled list again, and despite converting 15 of 17 save chances, the Braves would benefit from adding another option. A.J. Minter and Dan Winkler have both worked the ninth, but their performances have left room for improvement.

"Adding a pitcher such as Britton could help the rest of the unit fall into place. Vizcaino, Minter and Winkler wouldn’t routinely handle the ninth, giving manager Brian Snitker an abundance of options for the late innings."

Vizcaino has a sterling 1.65 ERA this season, but he's on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. It's possible that Vizcaino has complications or doesn't return as effective as he was prior to the injury. Hopefully Vizcaino comes back soon and 100 percent healthy, but if not, Britton would be a huge asset to the Braves bullpen.

Atlanta may have an added incentive to obtain Britton: Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported that the Phillies are in the mix. First-place Philadelphia leads second-place Atlanta by just a half-game in the NL East, and if one of those teams gets the O's southpaw, the slight edge likely goes to that squad down the stretch for the division title.