The Tampa Bay Rays have traded second baseman Logan Forsythe to the Los Angeles Dodgers for 24 year old righthanded starting pitcher Jose De Leon, both teams have announced.
This is an interesting trade, and impacts the Rangers tangentially, as there were reports that the Dodgers (as part of their search for a second baseman) had inquired about Jurickson Profar. I said at the time those rumors surfaced that I thought DeLeon would be the asking price for Profar, and that the Dodgers wouldn’t do that.
Of course, I wouldn’t have thought the Dodgers would part with De Leon for Forsythe, either. De Leon made four starts for the Dodgers in 2016, as well as 16 for AAA Oklahoma City (where he put up a 2.61 ERA), and appears to be ready to be in a major league rotation. However, the reports from the national guys on the Tweetbox indicate that the Dodgers had other guys in the system they valued higher — Julio Urias, of course, but also Walker Buehler and Yadier Alvarez, apparently — and seem to be viewing this as selling high on De Leon.
Forsythe, meanwhile, is a pretty solid second baseman who the Dodgers get for relatively cheap, dollars-wise. Forsythe was acquired by current Dodgers president Andrew Friedman when Friedman was still the Rays g.m. Forsythe’s major league track record prior to 2015 was as a middling bench guy, but from 2015-16, he has put up a .273/.347/.444 slash line with solid defense at second base. That translates to a nice, somewhat above-average second baseman, who is owed just
$7.5M $5.75for 2017, with a team option for $8.5 $9 million for 2018.
This is a deal that makes sense for the Dodgers if they are relatively confident the 2015-16 version of Forsythe is the “real” Forsythe. If we assume that Forsythe can maintain close to that level of performance for the next two seasons, the Dodgers have a solid second baseman for a championship contender. If Forsythe is closer to the pre-2015 version, however, this deal will hurt.