Twins 2B Dozier: 'I will be a free agent this fall'

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The 2018 regular season has yet to begin, but second baseman Brian Dozier knows it very well might be his last with the Minnesota Twins.

Playing in the final year of his current contract, Dozier told the Star Tribune in an interview published Monday morning that he expects to become a free agent after the season.

"I will be a free agent this fall," he said. "That's the bottom line. You can only say you want to be here so much, and nothing gets done.

"That's just the way it is. I understand everything. At the same time, you're six months away from free agency. That's intriguing."

The 30-year-old Dozier will make $9 million in the final season of the four-year, $20 million extension he signed with the Twins in 2015. He told MLB.com earlier this year that he would be open to discussing a new deal with Minnesota, but the team hasn't offered him anything, which he reiterated to the Star Tribune.

"There have not been any talks about exploring an extension," Dozier said. "We'll see what happens, but at the same time you can only wait so long and then it's all just focusing on the season and getting yourself ready to win."

Dozier has been a bargain for the Twins the last two seasons, breaking out to hit 42 home runs in 2016. He followed that up with a solid 2017 campaign, hitting .271 with 34 home runs and 93 RBIs and winning his first Gold Glove.

Dozier was sidelined by kidney stones early this spring but has since returned to the field, playing in four games.

Two of the Twins' top prospects -- Royce Lewis and Nick Gordon -- are middle infielders that could be potential long-term replacements for Dozier at second base. Gordon played at Double-A last season, while Lewis, the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft, still has a ways to go before he gets to the majors.

Meanwhile, the Twins and another one of the their young stars, center fielder Byron Buxton, have reportedly expressed mutual interest in a contract extension, according to a report from Jim Bowden of The Athletic.

--Field Level Media