It’s a story as old as Hollywood itself: A talented performer from the Midwest packs his or her bags and heads to Southern California to seek stardom.

If the Los Angeles Dodgers acquire Brian Dozier from the Minnesota Twins, that yarn could unspool on the MLB stage next season.

First, the latest rumor, courtesy of Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan:

We’ve heard Dozier-to-L.A. rumblings all offseason—it’s a marriage that makes sense, as Bleacher Report’s Zachary D. Rymer outlined.

Including Jose De Leon—the No. 6 right-handed pitching prospect in baseball, per—could accelerate talks, especially if Los Angeles adds high-upside ancillary pieces. 

It’s speculation, but let’s assume a swap is consummated before the spring thaw and Dozier dons blue in 2017.

If that happens, it could propel the 29-year-old second baseman into the big league firmament.

It’s not as if Dozier is invisible now. He was an All-Star in 2015 and went off last season, setting career highs in home runs (42), RBI (99) and OPS (.886).

Let’s face it, though: The Twins are the Twins. They toil in a small market and haven’t made the playoffs since 2010, two years before Dozier debuted.

In September, Anthony Castrovince of Sports on Earth outlined how the Twins’ futility diminished Dozier’s accomplishments:

Unfortunately, Dozier’s 2016, in which he could eclipse Davey Johnson’s 1973 record for home runs by a second baseman (43) and might very well become just the 13th player in history to hit 30 second-half homers, is the latest and most highly visible example of the lost season — a year extraordinary in individual significance but, sadly, ineffectual in its standings significance. 

Granted, Minnesota has produced its share of stars, from Rod Carew to Kirby Puckett.

Los Angeles, however, is where glitz meets glam. The Dodgers are baseball’s biggest spenders and, aside from the New York Yankees, arguably MLB’s most nationally and internationally visible franchise. 

They’re also good. After laying down almost $200 million to bring back left-hander Rich Hill, closer Kenley Jansen and third baseman Justin Turner, the Dodgers are positioned to reach the postseason for the fifth consecutive year. 

There’s no guarantee with the archrival San Francisco Giants and retooled Colorado Rockies lurking in the NL West. Netting Dozier, though, could push L.A. over the hump into full-fledged front-runner status. 

He’d add much-needed right-handed thump to the Dodgers’ lefty-heavy lineup and join a strong offensive core that includes Turner, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and reigning NL Rookie of the Year Corey Seager.

It’s possible Dozier’s numbers could dip at Chavez Ravine. Dodger Stadium was the second-least hitter-friendly yard in the game last season, according to ESPN’s Park Factors statistic, while Minnesota’s Target Field checked in at No. 9.

Dozier, however, has even career home/road splits, which suggests his bat plays anywhere.

Steamer projects a notable decline in home run production from Dozier in 2017, from 42 to 27, per FanGraphs. Something in the neighborhood of 30 homers from the second base position, though, would still make him a top-tier player. Add the L.A. publicity bump, and we’re talking another All-Star nod and notoriety aplenty.

How is Dozier handling the chatter?

“It can get overwhelming at times,” he said, per USA Today‘s Gabe Lacques. “I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and not look at the online [trade] stuff, because I do. It’s my career; you want to see how other teams value you, evaluate you and what the Twins think of you.”

If he thinks this is overwhelming, wait till he gets a load of the SoCal spotlight. If he gets a load of it, that is. 

Dozier can see past the glare. He’s already one of the game’s top second basemen. Now, he has a chance to pack his bags and aim even higher.

Take heed, Tinseltown—it could be one heck of a story.


All statistics courtesy of unless otherwise noted.

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