Royals DFA Hunter Dozier 3 seasons after signing $25M contract

Hunter Dozier vs Tigers at Kauffman
Posted at 3:34 PM, May 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-22 16:42:35-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hunter Dozier's time with the Kansas City Royals has come to an end as the infielder was designated for assignment Monday, the team announced.

Second baseman Nicky Lopez will return to the club after a rehab assignment — he has been taken off the 10-day injured list as a corresponding move.

Dozier was in year three of a four-year contract worth $25 million, signed during 2021 spring training.

In 2019, he hit a .279/.348/.522 slash line, 26 home runs and a league-leading 10 triples. But Dozier has struggled significantly since signing the contract.

Dozier posted a .222/.286/.384 slash line with 30 home runs and 104 RBIs in 301 games. He also has hit 16% worse than the average major league hitter, according to Baseball Reference.

Per Fangraphs, Dozier has been worth $-18.4 million in the last three seasons and has been the second least-valuable hitter since the start of 2021. Only Detroit Tigers first baseman and future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera, who is 40, has been worse during that time.

The Royals will have seven days to either find a trade suitor for Dozier, a team to claim him on waivers or release him outright.

Kansas City will still have to pay Dozier the remaining $16.6 million left on his contract even if he is released.