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Nationals sign Brian Dozier to one-year, $9 million contract: report

Brian Dozier takes a swing for the Minnesota Twins during a game in Chicago last July. | AP Photo/Matt Marton

Free agent second baseman Brian Dozier signed a one-year, $9 million deal with the Washington Nationals on Thursday morning, according to ESPN.

Dozier, 31, had been a stalwart for the Minnesota Twins — dating back to his 2012 rookie year — before a midseason trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer. The Mississippi native consistently hit for good average with the Twins, but his strongest suit was his power: Dozier ranked second in the majors with 42 home runs during the 2016 season and finished top-15 in MVP voting in both 2016 and 2017.

He never found the same rhythm in 2018, however, resulting in the trade to the eventual National League champion Dodgers. Dozier’s .215 batting average was the worst of his career and his 21 home runs were his fewest since 2013, and he hit just 4-for-20 in the postseason. He proved to be a defensive liability, as well.

In Washington, Dozier will add depth to a second basemen group that already includes veteran Howie Kendrick and defensive specialist Wilmer Difo. The Nationals proved willing to bet $9 million on Dozier rediscovering his old form, but they won’t be saddled with a long-term contract if he doesn’t.