L.A. was desperate for a second baseman – the Rays obliged.
The Dodgers have been heavy on the market for a second baseman this off-season when Chase Utley was not brought back. On Monday, they found their guy.
The Rays agreed to trade their starting second baseman for the last three seasons to the Dodgers in return for RHP Jose De Leon. Forsythe, 30, joined the Rays back in 2014 after spending the first three years of his career in San Diego. Since becoming a Ray, Forsythe has been arguably their most consistent hitter, usually at the top third of the lineup. Last off-season, manager Kevin Cash decided to make Forsythe the full-time lead off hitter and it paid off in spades.
His career with Tampa Bay ends after playing in 390 games and hitting 43 HRs, 146 RBI, to go along with a very impressive and consistent .262/.334/.419 and a .752 OPS. He set career-highs in 2016 with 20 home runs and 76 runs scored.
De Leon, 24 and a native of Puerto Rico, made his MLB debut last season with the Dodgers and pitched in just four games. In 67 career minor league games (64 starts), however, he’s 23-13 with a 3.35 ERA with a dominant 446 strikeouts in 330.2 innings pitched. In 2016, he pitched to a 7-1 record and a 2.61 ERA for AAA Oklahoma City but battled ankle and shoulder injuries. Following the season, Baseball America ranked De Leon as the Dodgers No. 3 prospect and No. 8 RHP prospect in MLB overall. He was selected by the Dodgers in the 24th round of the 2013 amateur draft.
The hole at second base could quickly be filled by either Tim Beckham, Matt Duffy, or Nick Franklin, with the potential to have prospect Daniel Robertson ready sooner than later to eventually take over that position for the long run.