Looking Back at the Logan Forsythe Trade


Recently, we looked at the Wil Myers/James Shields trade and looked at the balance of the deal so far. Now, let’s turn our attention to the other deal of note. The trade with the San Diego Padres went like this –

The Rays got Logan Forsythe, Brad Boxberger, Matt Andriese, Matt Lollis and Maxx Tissenbaum for Alex Torres and Jesse Hahn.

The main pieces of the trade were Logan Forsythe and Alex Torres. Rays management like Logan Forsythe, but the fans thus far… not so much. Forsythe has struggled to find consistency, and his OPS sits at just .490 in 51 games played. In the wake of Ben Zobrist’s injury and his uncertain future with the Rays, Forsythe’s value is under-appreciated. While the numbers are not there, Maddon and Rays’ coaches like the way the ball comes off Forsythe’s bat, and Forsythe has played well in the past. That doesn’t mean much for fans right now. With the Rays struggling this year, more pressure is put on Forsythe because of his struggles than he deserves at the moment. Alex Torres has largely filled the same role for San Diego as he did with the Rays. In 29 innings, he has a 1.86 ERA and a .250 BABIP. Torres is now a bullpen guy and that is seemingly where San Diego deems him best. Losing Torres wasn’t great, but the Rays had plenty of arms to replace him and that makes the loss acceptable.

Brad Boxberger has paid immediate dividends for the Rays. He has struck out 36% of the batters he’s faved and hitters are batting a paltry .179 against him. It would probably be better to compare Torres and Boxberger in this trade. Both look to have the makings of good late-innings relievers. Boxberger still has to work on his command if he wants to get there, but so far this year he has been one of the Rays most reliable relievers, posting a 2.96 ERA. Acquiring Boxberger made losing Torres much more acceptable.

In his second major league start Jesse Hahn, the other piece of the Forsythe trade as far as San Diego was concerned, pitched six scoreless inning against the New York Mets, walking three and striking out seven. His first start didn’t go as well. Against the Pirates, he only lasted 3.2 and gave up four runs. He is continuing his slow comeback from Tommy John surgery in 2010 and the Padres have limited him to 110 innings max this year. Hahn has a massive fastball and erratic seasons his freshman and sophomore seasons at Virginia Tech. As a junior, Hahn took large step forward, posting a 3.70 ERA with a 76/20 K/BB in 73 innings.  Projected as a first-rounder, he hurt his elbow two days before the draft and fell to the Tampa Bay Rays in the sixth round. He is a good fit on a team like San Diego. Like ace Andrew Cashner, he can possibly lead the staff, whereas on Tampa Bay, he would be much lower on the depth chart. However, just like Cashner he is going to have overcome injury struggles to remain a starter, and a move to the bullpen is a possibility, if not a likelihood.

Matt Lollis, Matt Andriese and Maxx Tissenbaum also came over from San Diego in Forsythe trade. The Canadian born Tissenbaum is a middle infielder by trade with not a whole lot of power, and has since been converted to catcher. He has not been above High-A baseball yet. Describe as a scrappy player, he doesn’t strike out very much. A groundball pitcher, Matt Andriese projects as a starter. He has solid control of four pitches, a mid-90’s sinker, harsh curve, off-speed splitter, and a cutter (for lefties) give the Rays a solid potential pitcher in Durham. In twelve starts this year in Durham, he has a 6-3  record, a 3.06 ERA and 3.99 FIP. In 79 innings, he has 64 strikeouts. Hitting Double-A with the Padres, Matt Lollis settled into the bullpen and there he remains with the Rays. Another power arm that stands 6’9″, big guys tend t0 take longer to develop. Lollis has a 3.59 ERA and 3.89 FIP in 35.1 innings in Double-A Montgomery.

There are many pieces of this trade that will take a while to determine. From a Rays perspective, it is too early to say this was a failed trade based on Forsythe’s struggles alone. Tissenbaum, Andriese and Lollis are the X-factors. How will they do? Is Logan Forsythe Ben Zobrist’s replacement? We will just have to wait and see.