(Photo Credit: Cliff McBride/Getty Images)
While the Dodgers have not been secretive in pursuing Ian Kinsler and Brian Dozier to man the keystone next season, a trade for Forsythe may not be overly appealing to fans of the club, yet the cost for the 29-year-old Memphis native would not be nearly as high of a price tag which the Tigers or Twins would demand.
President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was attracted to what the infielder brought to the table several years back, and traded for Forsythe when he was the Rays’ general manager in 2014.
Forsythe still has a contract that’s considered team-friendly, being owed $7 million through the 2017 season, along with an $8.5 million club option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout.
With the ability to competently man third base and first base if needed, the 6’1″, 205 lb. right-handed batter would seemingly fit nicely into the Dodgers’ roster, especially if the club re-signs second baseman Chase Utley, providing Forsythe the opportunity to shift around the Diamond when Utley starts at second.
Having primarily hit out of the leadoff spot last season, Forsythe slashed .264/.333/.444 with 20 homeruns in 127 games played.
Connor Byrne of MLB Trade Rumors pointed out how Forsythe has developed himself into a high-end second baseman over the past few seasons as his numbers continue to improve, especially against southpaw pitching.
“In 1182 plate appearances since the beginning of 2015, Forsythe has batted .273/.347/.444 with 37 home runs and 15 stolen bases, and his 6.8 fWAR during that span places him ninth among the league’s second basemen. Most of the damage the right-handed Forsythe has done the past two years has come against lefties (.287/.350/.543 in 317 PAs), which surely appeals to a Dodgers team that posted a league-worst .213/.290/.332 line versus southpaws in 2016.”
Forsythe was originally drafted by the Padres in the first year of the 2008 MLB Draft and spent six years in the San Diego organization before being acquired by Friedman in Tampa Bay.
It’s tough to pinpoint exactly what the Rays would demand from the Dodgers in a prospective deal, but one player likely to be requested is Dodgers’ catcher Austin Barnes, noting the void Tampa Bay has had behind the dish for the past several seasons. That being said, it’s tough seeing the Dodgers even contemplating shipping Barnes out, considering the Dodgers’ own lack of catching depth on the farm.
Tampa Bay would probably also have interest in a lefty, MLB-ready bat, in addition to young starting pitching, after already rumored to being willing to deal one of their front-end starters for the sake of strengthening the top level of their farm system.