Dodgers: Looking Back on the Trade for Brian Dozier

The Dodgers traded second baseman Logan Forsythe, southpaw Devin Smeltzer, and outfielder Luke Raley to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for former All-Star second baseman Brian Dozier hours before the 2018 trade deadline.

The Trade

When the Dodgers acquired Dozier, he was in the midst of a year-long slump which was uncharacteristic considering all of his past successes. In 2017, Dozier posted an .856 OPS. In 2018 prior to the Dodgers acquiring him: .712 OPS. After? .650 OPS. It was truly an awful deal. The Dodgers gave up some decent prospects for the hope that Dozier would come alive in August, September, and most importantly October for the Dodgers. This was not the case.

For reference, Brian Dozier has just a .665 OPS in 2019.

The Moving Parts

It also reflects poorly on the organization considering how the three players they sent to Minnesota for Dozier’s services are performing. So, let us take a look at the whereabouts of all three:

Logan Forsythe

Forsythe no longer plays for the Twins’ organization, but is carving out an everyday role with the lowly Texas Rangers. Forsythe has actually been quite excellent with them, posting an .895 OPS across 39 games. He acts as a utility man for the Rangers and consistently bats near the top of their order, considering his .410 on-base percentage. He is doing for the Rangers what the Dodgers hoped he could do for them. It never happened.

Devin Smeltzer

A cancer survivor who possesses a unique story involving Chase Utley, Smeltzer has made his way to the big leagues in recent days.

On Tuesday, Smeltzer made his debut for the Minnesota Twins after passing through AA and AAA in swift fashion. He tossed 6 shutout innings against the high-powered Milwaukee Brewers offense and struck out 7. That hurts. After Brian Dozier gave nothing of value to the Dodgers, Smeltzer already looks like a steal for the Twins considering the improvements he has made in their organization.

Luke Raley

Left-handed first baseman and outfielder Luke Raley has been great this season in the Twins organization. He is currently holding an .878 OPS for their AAA affiliate. He has smacked 7 homers and driven in 21 runs in just 33 games for Rochester. One major issue that remains with Raley, however, is that he still strikes out way too much. In Raley’s 33 games, he has struck out a whopping 42 times. He is still a career .833 OPS guy across all levels of the minors, though, so a lot of potential remains.


It is safe to say this was a bad trade. Dozier posted 0.0 WAR for the Dodgers in his short time with the club. Devin Smeltzer posted 0.4 WAR in his big-league debut alone. Raley can, at worst, become a viable bench bat. Even Forsythe is getting it done for the Rangers. You cannot win them all, but this was surely a loss.

Daniel Preciado

My name is Daniel Preciado and I am 19 years old. I am a sophomore Sport Analytics major and Cognitive Science and Economics dual minor at Syracuse University. When I am not in New York, I live in Whittier, California --- not too far from Chavez Ravine. I am pretty old-school for being an analytics guy and I will always embrace debate. Also, Chase Utley did absolutely nothing wrong.


  1. Didn’t he hit a HR in his first game???Hes fell off a cliff faster than a character in a Road Runner cartoon.Honestly,Id prolly done that deal too tho.This is the problem w swinging for the fences.When u stop hitting em it gets ugly quick.

    1. Dozier is a feast or famine type player. When he is hot he can carry your team. When he isn’t he strikes out a lot. It was a really short sample size too. It just as easily could have worked out.

  2. I’m a twins fan and I saw this. Raley tore a ligament in his ankle, and will be out a while. Not sure if this changes your perspective but is worth noting

  3. Compared to Delino Deshields for Pedro Martinez? Konerko? Piazza? This one barely registers.

  4. Not only did the trade for Dozier cost the Dodgers a struggling 2nd Baseman and two prospects for another struggling 2nd Baseman, it stole playing time from both Kike Hernandez and Chris Taylor. As we are seeing this season either of those players can be game changers and appear to be able to work through slumps. For much the same reason, I did not agree with the deal for Machado last season

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