The Los Angeles Dodgers finally ended their winter-long quest for a second baseman on Monday evening. They traded prized prospect Jose De Leon to the Tampa Bay Rays for Logan Forsythe, a 30-year-old who blossomed into an All-Star caliber player in his last two years on the Gulf coast. The Dodgers left no stone unturned this offseason when looking for a second baseman, and were long rumored to be in the mix for Minnesota’s Brian Dozier. Trading De Leon may sting for an organization that has scrambled to find starting pitching in recent years, but they have the farm system depth to deal with the loss.
The Dodgers were also in the mix for Ian Kinsler, who remains with the Detroit Tigers. Kinsler said all the right things during last week’s caravan, and the entire team seems optimistic about their chances in 2017 — even if the projections aren’t so rosy.
“I like this team,” Kinsler said. “I like this city. I like the group of guys that we have. I think we’re going to be good. If I had a magic 8-ball come trade deadline, I think Al’s hands are going to be handcuffed. I don’t know if he’s going to be able to make too many moves. I think we’re going to be in a good position. I think we got better, just because of the fact the other teams had a lot of transactions. Just staying pat made us better.”
Center field: still unknown, but not really
Like Kinsler, new Tigers center fielder Mikie Mahtook also said the right things in front of the press last week. Manager Brad Ausmus was predictably opaque when describing the team’s options in center field.
“We don’t know who is going to play center field,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “We don’t know if it’s going to be one guy or two guys or maybe three guys. We just don’t know. We have to see how it plays out.”
Like everyone else, Chris McCosky of the Detroit News sees through that veil.
So if Mahtook performs in spring training like the Tigers expect, he and Collins would form a platoon in center field. If there is a third center fielder in the rotation, it would be super utility man Andrew Romine.
My only real concern is how Collins holds up defensively.
This would have been nice
The Rays didn’t stop with the Logan Forsythe trade on Monday. They also signed reliever Shawn Tolleson to a one-year, $1 million deal (with incentives). While Tampa has been very kind to relievers on the rebound in years past — remember Fernando Rodney and Joaquin Benoit? — I would have liked to see the Tigers cough up an extra million or two for him.
Get ready to nerd out
I don’t even know how to describe what is happening at Baseball Prospectus this week, but people are getting really excited about it. In particular, the BP staff is doing its best to quantify command and control, along with something called a pitch tunnel. In case you want even more numbers, Russell Carleton has you covered.