Padres sign Brian Dozier, beef up infield depth with right-handed bat

The Padres have agreed to sign free agent infielder Brian Dozier to a minor-league deal, per multiple reports (including AJ Cassavell of Dozier is only a few years removed from being an All-Star and getting down-ballot MVP love (he finished 11th in 2017), but he’s not the same player he once was. 

Still, Dozier could prove a useful piece for the Padres. He’s still only 32 and posted a .340 on-base percentage with 20 homers in 416 at-bats last season for the World Series champion Nationals.  The days of Dozier playing full time are likely in the past, but the Padres have a lot of roster flexibility in terms of mixing and matching and he”ll fit nicely. 

Basically, the only everyday players the Padres have are Fernando Tatis (SS), Tommy Pham (LF), Manny Machado (3B) and likely Eric Hosmer (1B). 

The right-handed Dozier hit .280/.375/.525 against lefties last season. Switch-hitting Jurickson Profar is expected to hold down second base and he also hits lefties better than righties, but Profar can also play several other positions. 

Just in glancing at the prospective starting lineup, there are lefties Trent Grisham (CF) and Franchy Cordero (RF). Utillity infielder/outfielder Greg Garcia swings left-handed, too, so Dozier’s a bit of a complement there. 

Also, I know he has the big contract and all, but Hosmer hit .231/.280/.321 against lefties last year and has a career .298 OBP against them. What about Profar at first and Dozier at second against left-handers? We could see it this year in San Diego.

The regular season is a long way away and we can’t yet be sure how first-year manager Jayce Tingler will deal with the roster he’s eventually given, but he’s going to have lots of mix-and-match options and Dozier is the latest addition to that group. 

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