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.
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.
So what might such a deal entail? To answer that I’ll defer to someone who has far more credibility than myself:
Source: Odorizzi/Forsythe to Dodgers. Puig/Verdugo plus low level prospect to Rays.
Many of you may remember this tweet at this year’s trade deadline and I must admit I find it rather intriguing. Jake Odorizzi is a relatively high-upside starter who has already established a solid track record in the big leagues, while Forsythe fills the Dodgers need at second base. The Rays return is heavy, they would receive two highly talented outfielders with plenty of team control, exactly the type of return a small market team would require.
Including Puig here makes me a little unsettled, I don’t believe the addition of one right-handed bat will move the needle much at all for a team that just posted the worst offensive performance against left-handed pitching in baseball. Instead it will take multiple additions and rebounds from incumbent players like Puig to balance out the lineup in 2017. The front office has also been far more positive towards Puig since his return and it appears they are far more unwilling to include him in trades moving forward.