Derek Falvey was officially named the Twins' new chief baseball officer on Monday. He is all of 33 years old — and he has at least that many critical decisions (if not more) facing him as he takes over a team that just finished 59-103, worse than any other Twins team since the franchise moved to Minnesota.
One of the more intriguing questions facing Falvey — you even could categorize it as a good problem to have, as opposed to several bad ones — is what the Twins should do with second baseman Brian Dozier.
He hit 42 home runs (tied for third in the majors), had 82 extra-base hits (tied for third in the majors) and posted a WAR (wins above replacement) of 6.5 (ninth in the majors among position players). Basically, take Dozier out of the equation and the Twins would have been even worse.
Why on earth would the Twins want to trade a player like that — particularly one under contact for two more years at the relatively modest rates of $6 million in 2017 and $9 million in 2018? Well, that's where it gets interesting. Because the very same reasons the Twins might be inclined to slam the phone down any time someone called with a trade offer are the ones that could make Falvey interested in listening. Namely: Dozier's power and contract are valuable to the Twins and could be valuable to other teams as well.
The Twins also have Jorge Polanco ready to step in somewhere in the middle infield. He looks as if he's definitely ready to hit in the majors, and his best position might be second base.
Falvey, meanwhile, made much of his reputation in Cleveland by helping the Indians revamp their pitching staff. The Indians had a team ERA of 4.78 in 2012 (29th in the majors, one spot worse than the Twins). Every year since then, they've been 15th or better, including seventh in 2016.
Add up all the pieces and you wonder if Falvey will be inclined to actively shop Dozier — or at least actively listen to trade offers — in an effort to beef up the Twins' dismal pitching staff.
Practically speaking, the answer probably comes down to what the market would be for Dozier. If the Twins could get one very good to exceptional pitcher plus another one a level below that, it would be very tempting. I think I would do it.
A lot of you felt the same way when the question was posed on Twitter. One example of a consensus response from @Extraneous_Ed: "His value will never be higher. There's always more hitting. They've shown you can't find pitching."
Then again, we don't have to make that decision. It's one of many facing Falvey as he attempts to reshape an organization that thought it was on the fast track to success after 2015 before derailing in the middle of nowhere in 2016.
The safe play would be keeping Dozier, but safe doesn't equal wrong. That said, it might be one of the few times early on that Falvey would be dealing from a position of strength.