Red Sox Trade Deadline Targets: 5 bats who can smash left-handed pitching
By Sean Penney
If the Nationals do end up becoming sellers, Brian Dozier is another name to watch. He’s hitting a dismal .235 this season but that will only help keep the cost down for a Red Sox team that cares primarily about one specific skill set.
When it comes to mashing lefties, Dozier is among the elite. He’s hitting .375 with a 1.185 OPS in 56 at-bats against southpaws this season. He ranks second in the majors with a .483 wOBA and third with a 201 wRC+ against LHP.
Dozier only has 12 homers this season but five have come against lefties in a limited number of plate appearances. The former All-Star boasts plenty of pop with a career-high of 42 homers and he blasted 34 only two years ago.
His overall numbers have dipped to borderline replacement level the last two seasons but that’s primarily due to his inability to hit right-handed pitching at this stage of his career. He can still get the job done against lefties, which is what the Red Sox are targetting.
The 32-year old is only two years removed from being a Gold Glove second baseman. He’s regressed a bit in the field but remains a serviceable option who could help solidify a position that Boston has been relying on a rotating cast of utility players to fill.
Dozier found a frigid free agent market waiting for him following a disappointing stint with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who acquired him mid-season from the Minnesota Twins last year. He settled for a one-year, $9 million deal with the Nationals. Boston should be able to find room for a portion of that salary while the lack of commitment beyond this season reduces the risk and keeps the cost of acquiring him reasonably low.