The Dodgers have acquired second baseman Logan Forsythe from the Rays for right-hander Jose De Leon, according to a club announcement. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports was first to report deep discussions between the clubs.
Los Angeles has been looking for a star second baseman all winter, and had been consistently linked to Twins star Brian Dozier before shifting their efforts and acquiring Forsythe. De Leon’s name came up in talks involving Dozier, though the Twins did not feel a 1-for-1 swap was enough for their prized infielder.
Forsythe, who recently turned 30, joins Adrian Gonzalez, Corey Seager and Justin Turner in a stacked Dodgers’ infield. The ex-Padre hit .264/.333/.444 with 20 homers and 52 RBI in 127 games for the Rays last season, and has been a consistent producer over three years with Tampa Bay since being acquired from San Diego in early 2014.
Forsythe signed an extension with the Rays last January and is under team control for the next two seasons. He will earn $5.75 million in 2017, with the deal calling for a $8.5 million option or $1 million buyout in 2018. Los Angeles could look to extend him before he hits the open market after the 2018 season.
De Leon, 24, made his major-league debut for the Dodgers last season, allowing 12 earned runs over his first 17 big-league innings. He is ranked by MLB.com as the 33rd-best prospect in baseball, being ranked as the Dodgers’ 2nd-best prospect.
De Leon was expendable for a Dodgers team that already has Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias, Scott Kazmir, Hyun-jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy in a crowded rotation mix. He may have a chance to crack the Rays’ Opening Day rotation, replacing recently traded starter Drew Smyly.