As we wade through the early part of the offseason, and with second base still a hole to fill for the Dodgers, it was only a matter of time before the Rolodex of available options turned to Logan Forsythe of the Rays.
The Dodgers are reportedly interested in the infielder, per Jon Morosi of MLB.com. The club also reportedly kicked the tires on Forsythe as the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline approached this year as well, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Forsythe was acquired by the Rays before the 2014 season by current Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. After three years as a utility man, averaging 310 plate appearances from 2012-2014, Forsythe has settled into a more regular role at second base the last two years for the Rays,
He averaged 140 games and 591 plate appearances in 2015-2016, hitting .273/.347/.444, a 119 OPS+, combining for 57 doubles and 37 home runs the last two years.
The right-handed Forsythe, who turns 30 on January 14, would also address what was a Dodgers weakness in 2016, hitting left-handers. In his career against southpaws, Forsythe has hit .278/.343/.475 (compared to .244/.318/.358 against right-handers), including .287/.350/.543 the last two seasons.
Forsythe has batted all over the lineup in his career, including 125 starts batting leadoff this season. In 2015, Forsythe batted fifth 67 times and cleanup 55 times.
He ‘has mixed reviews on his defense at second base. Defensive Runs Saved has him at +9 runs above average the last two years combined, Ultimate Zone Rating has him roughly average (-1.1 runs), while Total Zone Rating shows him at -15 runs in 2015-2016.
Forsythe would be a less expensive alternative to Ian Kinsler, both in trade and salary. Forsythe is under contract for $5.75 million in 2017, and he has a club option in 2018 worth $9 million, per Cot’s Contracts. The option can increase to as high as $10.5 million bases on plate appearances in 2017, and has a buyout of $1 million if not exercised.
One would figure that any talks with the Rays would at some point also involve at least a cursory inquiry into Tampa Bay’s pitchers. But whether Logan Forsythe comes as part of a package with say, Chris Archer, or by himself, he’d be a fit in Los Angeles.