LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers got a very good American League second baseman and it cost them pitcher Jose De Leon, just like rumors have predicted for weeks. But in a bit of a twist, the target wasn’t Brian Dozier, but rather Logan Forsythe from the Rays.
Forsythe is headed to Los Angeles in a 1-for-1 deal for De Leon, giving the Dodgers someone familiar to both manager Dave Roberts and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.
Forsythe, who turned 30 last week, hit .264/.333/.444 with a career-high 20 home runs in 127 games, his second year qualifying for the batting title after four years as a utility player with the Padres and Rays. Roberts was a coach in San Diego in Forsythe’s three years (2011-2013) there, before Friedman traded for him in Tampa Bay.
A career .278/.343/.475 hitter against left-handed pitchers, Forsythe hit .270/.315/.461 against southpaws last year, so he certainly fills a Dodgers need in that regard.
Two weeks ago, Friedman said the Dodgers’ pursuit of a second baseman and someone who could hit left-handed pitching was "interconnected," and felt confident a deal could get done before spring training, even with talks with the Twins about Dozier were reportedly at an impasse.
"With the new CBA, it's been a slower, stranger offseason," Friedman said. "I'm not exactly sure why, but we've still got a lot of offseason left."
The Dodgers have been linked to Forsythe in rumors since November.
Forsythe is under contract for one more season at $5.75 million, and has a $9 million club option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout.
De Leon, 24, made his major league debut with four starts in 2016 after a dominant season in Triple-A, going 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 16 starts, with 111 strikeouts and 20 walks in 86 innings. He was ranked as the Dodgers’ second-best prospect heading into 2017 by our own David Hood.