The Dodgers filled their void at second base Monday, acquiring Logan Forsythe from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for their number three prospect, starting pitcher Jose De Leon.
Forsythe had a breakout 2015 season with the Rays after being acquired from San Diego in the previous offseason, and continued that production in 2016 hitting .264 with 20 HR and 52 RBI’s.
The team will have the ability to control Forsythe through next season, as his contract includes a $9 million club option for the 2018 season.
The Dodgers went into the 2017 offseason with the hopes of acquiring a new second baseman, as their primary second baseman Chase Utley entered free agency in what will be his age-38 season. They also traded Howie Kendrick to Philadelphia in one of the first major moves of the offseason, who started 23 games at second base for the club last season
It was likely always their plan to trade for a second baseman, as there were never any starting-caliber second baseman in free agency, with the exception of Utley. The trade market for second baseman is much more intriguing, with names like Brian Dozier, Ian Kinsler, and Jurickson Profar being discussed in trade rumors throughout the whole offseason, in addition to Logan Forsythe.
The Dodgers had previously been aggressively pursuing Dozier, who led all second baseman with 42 home runs last season. The Twins asking price was ultimately out of their comfort zone, in a package that would have included De Leon and several other top prospects.
The Rays will add the 24-year-old Jose De Leon to their arsenal of young starting pitching, with Chris Archer being the oldest pitcher on that staff at just 28 years old. Taken by the Dodgers in the 24th round of the 2013 draft, De Leon’s devastating fastball-changeup combination quickly made him one of the top prospects in the organization.
He struggled in his MLB debut in 2016, recording a 6.35 ERA over just four starts. This came after a dominant season in Triple-A, where he went 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 16 starts.
De Leon will be in the mix to be on Tampa Bay’s opening day roster, but may see more time in Triple-A given his limited MLB experience.
Meanwhile, this trade may not be the last move the Dodgers make this offseason, as they will now look to address needs in their outfield and in the bullpen.*
*Statistics from MLB.com
-Featured image from CBS Sports