Brian Dozier had more lucrative offers, but Nationals were the best fitting & # 39;


Brian Dozier completed the 2018 season with the Dodgers. (Jae Hong / AP)

Despite his entry into a busy free-agent second runner on the heels of one of his worst seasons, Brian Dozier said he had longer and more lucrative contract offers than the one-year, $ 9 million deal he signed last week with the Washington Nationals. . Finally, Dozier and his wife, Renee, decided that Washington was the best option, not only because the team is ready to compete for the title of the National League East, but also on the basis of what he had heard from former teammates about how is to play in DC

"I have allowed many friends to wander through Nationals' organization, so it was definitely a priority and one of the top choices on my list," said Dozier on Tuesday at a conference call with reporters. "We felt as if the one-year deal with Washington is the best fit for my wife and myself."

One of those friends was catcher Kurt Suzuki, who worked with Dozier in Minnesota from 2014 to 2016 after spending two seasons in Washington. The Nationals signed a two-year deal with Suzuki in November, and Dozier said the two were chatting in the run-up to his own decision this month.

In November, Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo suggested that upgrading at second base was not a priority for Washington this season, as he liked it with Wilmer Difo and Howie Kendrick who shared the position in 2019. Dozier, who turns 32 in May, brings more power to the line-up than both options, and he is a better defender than former Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy.

Dozier comes down from his worst offensive season since he was a rookie, but he still darkened 20 home games for the sixth consecutive year. An eighth-round draw of the Twins in 2009, he was an all-star with Minnesota in 2015 and beat a career-high 42 home runs the following year. Dozier won a Golden Glove and beat .271 / .359 / .498 with 34 home runs in 2017.

With Dozier slumped and with a slump contract, the Twins distributed it to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline of last year. He could not rebound in Los Angeles and hit only .182 with five homeruns in 47 games and ended the season with a batting average .215 batting average. Dozier made only three starts during the Dodgers run to the World Series, which marked his only postseason & # 39; experience in addition to the 2017 American League game card game.

At the end of last season, Dozier revealed that he had a bone bruise in his left knee in April. Instead of going to the disabled list for the first time in his career, he chose to endure the pain, which influenced his swing. Dozier said that his knee is "100 percent" ahead of the spring training.

"It is clear that contusions appear very quickly and that happened immediately after the World Series," Dozier said Tuesday. "Offensively I have developed some bad habits and that led to some results that I personally did not want. With that being said, it was a grade, I think so to speak, and I learned how to do things It has made me a better player and person and I'm taking on the challenge this year. "

Even if he does not return to his 2017 levels, Dozier is a logical and low risk for the Nationals, who will take care of the 21-year-old prospect Carter Kieboom as their possible second baseman of the future. Kieboom is a short stop of trade, but with 25-year old Trea Turner at that spot in the Nationals infield, Kieboom played second base for the first time in the Arizona Fall League.

Dozier is the latest addition to the Nationals during a busy outdoor season that started with the signings of setupman Trevor Rosenthal and Suzuki, a trade for catcher Yan Gomes, and the addition of prized lefthanded pitcher Patrick Corbin. Washington has since signed first baseman Matt Adams and righthanded starter Anibal Sanchez. The Nationals should have one of the better lineups in the National League, regardless of where free agent Bryce Harper draws, and Dozier was encouraged by the moves they have made over the past two months.

"Seeing that they clearly do not make the playoffs and then respond and are still active on the free agent market, and try to show fans that they are all in and ready to win this year and so, that gives you a little bit , "Dozier said. "I have been in a number of winning ball clubs, I have been in bad clubs and every time you win, every time everyone in the front office is expecting to win and hope and win such things, you are a lot. that and it brings out the best in you, and that helped make my decision a lot easier. "

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