Los Angeles has acquired another All-Star infielder from an AL team. This time, it's second baseman Brian Dozier of the Twins. Minnesota thought they had a real chance at competing for the AL Central crown coming into 2018 after an excellent 2017 season that ended abruptly in the Wild Card game against the Yankees. But with a meager 49-56 record going into the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline, the Twins decided to part with one of their franchise players. The Dodgers have tried aggressively to acquire Dozier from Minnesota for a couple years now, and their stars finally aligned thanks to a down year from both Dozier and the Twins.
In the return
Dozier is hitting only .224 but has 16 home runs, 52 RBI, and 8 stolen bases through 104 games for the Twins, so Minnesota won't quite receive the package for him they thought they would in previous years. But they will receive some MLB established talent in second baseman Logan Forsythe, and minor leaguers Devin Smeltzer and Luke Raley. Forsythe was seen as a great addition for the Dodgers going into last season when they got him from Tampa Bay. But he has been borderline awful for Los Angeles. He's only managed a .218 batting average, 8 home runs, and 49 RBI in 189 games.
Minnesota will also receive lefty Devin Smeltzer, a 22-year-old who was taken in the 5th round by the Dodgers in the 2016 June draft and has pitched to a 4.53 ERA in 39 starts in 60 total appearances. He has pitched well but lacks that extra gear that will help him really makes strides in his development. The big prospect the Twins will receive from Los Angeles is first baseman and outfielder Luke Raley. The 23-year-old hard hitter was taken in the 7th round of the 2016 June draft by Los Angeles. He owns a .286 average in his short career to this point and has really turned on the power in his previous 2 seasons, hitting 31 home runs, tallying 85 total extra-base hits, and driving in 115 runners in 222 games between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa. Raley has been rather versatile. He's seen extensive time in both corner outfield spots and has seen roughly 70 games at first base as well. Giving Minnesota some options with how to further develop him.
The Dodgers came into the season as one of MLB's biggest "super teams" along with the Yankees, Red Sox, and Astros, but the Dodgers were easily the weakest coming into the trade deadline picture, having lost multiple players to DL stints this season. Now, they seem to be getting most of their players back. Clayton Kershaw is back and is looking increasingly more like his old self, and now add Machado and Brian Dozier to their middle infield and man, this team looks scary.