The Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers have agreed to a trade that will send Logan Forsythe out west.
Pretty much since the moment that the offseason began, the Los Angeles Dodgers had been searching for a second baseman. Initially, their target was Brian Dozier, but as talks stalled, they began to look elsewhere. As time went on, the Tampa Bay Rays were one of the teams linked to the Dodgers, with Logan Forsythe considered a target.
Today, that awaited trade took place. According to Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Rays have sent Forsythe to the Dodgers in exchange for top prospect Jose De Leon. This was the same trade offered for Dozier, but declined by the Twins as they sought more in return.
It may be fair to wonder if the Rays sold Forsythe at the peak of his value. The Dodgers are getting back a solid second baseman who has truly come into his own over the past two years. In that time, he has produced a .273/.347/.444 batting line, hitting 37 home runs and stealing 15 bases. Considered a valuable defensive player, Forsythe can play anywhere on the infield if need be.
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In return, the Rays may have finally received their future ace. De Leon was considered a consensus top 30 prospect in baseball last year, and he backed that up with a dominant performance in the Pacific Coast League. Last year, he produced a 7-1 record with a 2.61 ERA and a 0.938 WHiP, striking out 111 batters against 20 walks in 86.1 innings of work.
De Leon also made an appearance at the Major League level last year. Although he struggled in his first taste of Major League action, posting a 6.35 ERA and a 1.529 WHiP, there were still a few positives. He struck out 15 batters in his 17 innings of work, and had two solid starts before getting shelled in his final two outings. The biggest concern may be his ability to keep the ball in the yard, as De Leon allowed five home runs for the Dodgers in that limited action.
This trade certainly changes the big picture for the Rays. While the Dodgers have solidified their infield and added to what would already appear to be a serious contender for the postseason, the Rays have seemingly reversed course from their previous moves. Wilson Ramos and Colby Rasmus appear to be signings based on competing now, while this trade, and the one for Mallex Smith, appear to have been made with an eye towards the future.
The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired one of the best pitching prospects in baseball in Jose De Leon, sending Logan Forsythe to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The future for the Rays certainly looks brighter today.