The Rays and infielder Logan Forsythe have preliminary mutual interest in a contract extension, according to multiple industry sources. It is currently unclear if the sides have had any talks about a long-term deal.
Forsythe, 28, is entering the arbitration process for the second time in his career and will eligible for free agency after the 2017 season. He enjoyed a breakout season in 2015 with Tampa, hitting .281/.359/.444 with 17 home runs and 68 RBI in 153 games.
The Rays have a history of extending young stars, as they have signed Chris Archer, Evan Longoria, Matt Moore, Wade Davis and Ben Zobrist to long-term deals since 2010. Forsythe is projected to make $3-4 million in arbitration this season, so Tampa could look to buy him out for the next two seasons while retaining some team control buy either guaranteeing some free agent seasons or installing team options.
In 491 games over five major-league seasons with the Padres (2011-2013) and Rays (2014-2015), Forsythe is a career .252/.323/.379 hitter while appearing at six different positions. He was one of Tampa Bay's most consistent producers throughout last season while serving as the team's primary second baseman and also seeing time at first base and third base. Forsythe was named the Rays' team Most Valuable Player at the end of the season.