WASHINGTON (AP) — Brian Dozier found his latest team — and the Washington Nationals found a temporary solution at second base.
The free agent infielder and the Nationals agreed to a $9 million, one-year contract, subject to the successful completion of a physical exam, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The person confirmed the deal on condition of anonymity because neither the club nor player had made an announcement.
Dozier, who played for the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers last season, would fill Washington’s need for a new starting second baseman and could help add some power to the lineup, particularly important if slugging outfielder Bryce Harper ends up leaving the Nationals as a free agent.
By only committing to Dozier for one season, the Nationals leave open the possibility of turning to leading infield prospect Carter Kieboom at second base in 2020.
The 31-year-old Dozier’s agreement with Washington was first reported by ESPN.
Dozier batted a career-low .215 with 21 homers and 72 RBIs last year. He averaged 35 homers over the preceding three seasons, with a career best of 42 for Minnesota in 2016. He was an AL All-Star in 2015.
In 2017, Dozier led AL second baseman in fielding percentage and won a Gold Glove.
Bringing him aboard would be the latest in a flurry of offseason moves by Washington, which finished second in the NL East behind the Atlanta Braves and missed the playoffs last year.
While still waiting to find out what will happen with Harper, the Nationals’ additions have included lefty starter Patrick Corbin, catchers Yan Gomes and Kurt Suzuki, relievers Kyle Barraclough and Trevor Rosenthal, and backup first baseman Matt Adams.
Notes: Right-hander Joe Ross avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $1 million, one-year contract, a raise from $567,900 in his first year of eligibility. Ross returned late last season after Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, going 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in three appearances. He is expected to head to spring training with a chance to compete to be the No. 5 starter at the back end of Washington’s star-studded rotation, which includes Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Patrick Corbin and Anibel Sanchez. Four Nationals remained eligible to swap proposed salaries Friday: third baseman Anthony Rondon, shortstop Trea Turner, outfielder Michael A. Taylor and right-hander Kyle Barraclough.
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