The Dodgers and Tampa Bay have rekindled old flames, continuing to engage in discussions about Logan Forsythe.
Discussions about high profile second baseman are starting to become a bit of a theme on this site. It’s hardly a surprise, the Dodgers current outlook at the keystone is rather bleak. As it stands today Enrique Hernandez stand to receive the bulk of playing time at 2b following the departures of Chase Utley and Howie Kendrick.
With such a dearth of options at second base (and the free agent market offering little relief), the Dodgers have been connected to just about every right-handed hitting second baseman on a non-contending team. One such name, is Forsythe who the Dodgers reportedly engaged the Rays about in July/August leading up to the trade deadline.
Forsythe, a name not usually identified in baseball’s elite has quietly broken out over the last two seasons placing himself squarely among the games most valuable second basemen. In 2016 Forsythe managed a .264/.333/.444 slash line with 20 homeruns as well as six stolen bases. That comes off the back of an impressive 2015 campaign in which Forsythe slugged his way to a .281/.349/.444 slash line with 17 homeruns and 9 stolens bases. Those two seasons earned him a 125 and 113 wRC+ respectively. DRS has also been fairly optimistic about his work at second base with 8 and 1 one run saved in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Statcast has also been fairly optimistic about Forsythe’s offense, with the second baseman increasing his average exit velocity from 89 in 2015 to 90.7 mph in 2016. That 2016 score places Forsythe’s exit velocity next to names such as Adrian Beltre, Robinson Cano and Troy Tulowitzki. Forsythe also posted an average launch angle of 14.1 degrees in 2016, alongside players such as Kris Davis and Jason Kipnis.
All combined, Forsythe’s performance over the last two seasons has painted him as the 9th most valuable second baseman in the league alongside Neil Walker and Addison Russell. However there is one important point that WAR misses when estimating Forsythe’s potential value to the Dodgers and that is the Dodgers desperate need for productive right-handed bats. When adjusting to only include performance against left-handed pitching, Forsythe has bashed his way to a 142 wRC+,3rd amongst all qualified second baseman. That performance against left-handed pitching understandably makes Forsythe one of the most attractive trade targets for the Dodgers this off-season.
Forsythe’s lower profile will likely make him a far more affordable option than other trade candidates Ian Kinsler and Brian Dozier. The Rays are also known to be interested in moving one of their talented starting pitchers. With the Dodgers open to upgrades in the rotation and Andrew Friedman’s connections to Tampa Bay, a high-impact deal could just be on the way.
The Dodgers are in desperate need at second base and Forsythe might just be the perfect addition.
Who do you want to see at second base next season? What would you be willing to give up? Let us know in the comments section below