Logan Forsythe Rumors

AL Notes: Rays, Kaminsky, Washington, Park

Marc Topkin runs through the Rays roster to identify six players who have made the most of opportunities to provide surprising value this year in Tampa Bay. Logan Forsythe, added via trade before the 2014 campaign, has arguably been the best of them, putting up a .279/.360/.434 slash with 14 home runs and nine steals while playing multiple infield positions. Forsythe has lined himself up for a nice raise on his $1.1MM arb salary from this season. And a player added just before this season, righty Erasmo Ramirez, has somewhat quietly compiled 123 innings of 3.66 ERA pitching on the year. Ramirez won’t even reach arb eligibility until 2017, making him a nice asset for the future.

Here are a few more notes from around the American League:

  • When the Indians managed to pry young lefty Rob Kaminsky from the Cardinals in the Brandon Moss deal, reactions were overwhelmingly positive for Cleveland. Indians GM Chris Antonetti tells Jim Ingraham of Baseball America that he likes Kaminsky’s fastball life, groundball tendencies, command of the zone, and overall pitch mix. Cleveland is not concerned about Kaminsky’s light frame, and intends to give him every chance to reach the big leagues as a starter. The 20-year-old southpaw has pitched to a 2.24 ERA in 104 1/3 innings at the High-A level on the season.
  • The Athletics have named Ron Washington as the team’s third base coach to replace Mike Gallego, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. It was somewhat curious to see the move made now, but the team has struggled with baserunning issues of late and Washington will now have a chance to coach in uniform during games. (He had been prohibited from doing so because of rules limiting the number of uniformed staff.) Nothing more should be read into the decision, writes Slusser, as manager Bob Melvin is still expected to be locked up to a new deal after the season.
  • The Twins have scouted Korean slugger Byung-ho Park “a lot” ever since he was a sixteen-year-old, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. But the increasingly interesting first baseman still seems likely to land elsewhere if he’s posted this winter, Wolfson adds.

Players Avoiding Arbitration: Friday

With the deadline to exchange arbitration figures set for noon CT, there figure to be a large number of agreements to avoid arb today, as there were yesterday. All arbitration agreements can be followed using MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker, and we’ll keep track of today’s smaller agreements in this post, with all projections coming courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz

  • Righty Henderson Alvarez agreed to a $4MM deal with the Marlins, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier today on Twitter. Alvarez had been projected to earn $4.5MM after putting up a huge 187-inning, 2.65 ERA campaign entering his first season of arb eligibility.
  • The Athletics have agreed to a $1.4MM deal with righty Ryan Cook that includes, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports on Twitter. Cook gets a slight increase over the $1.3MM he had been projected to earn. Oakland has also inked outfielder Sam Fuld to a $1.75MM deal, per Mike Perchik of WAPT (via Twitter). He too lands just above his projection, which was for $1.6MM.
  • Outfielder Collin Cowgill avoided arbitration with the Angels for $995K, MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez tweets. He was projected to earn $900K.
  • Righties David Carpenter and Nathan Eovaldi both have deals with the Yankees, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports on Twitter. Carpenter will earn about $1.3MM while Eovaldi will take home $3.3MM
  • The Rockies have a deal in place with lefty Rex Brothers, tweets MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. Brothers was projected to earn $1.3MM but will take home $1.4MM, Harding adds via Twitter.
  • ESPN Chicago’s Jesse Rogers reports that the Cubs have settled with both Travis Wood and Luis Valbuena (Twitter links). Wood will receive $5.686MM — a bit north of his $5.5MM projection, while Valbuena will earn $4.2MM, per Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald (on Twitter). Valbuena was projected to earn $3.1MM.
  • Mike Perchick of WAPT in New Jersey has a wave of arbitration agreements, starting with the Astros and Hank Conger settling on a $1.075MM, which is just $25K behind Swartz’s projection (Twitter link).
  • Also via Perchick, the Athletics and Brett Lawrie settled on a $1.925MM contract (Twitter links). Lawrie, who had been projected at $1.8MM, was acquired by Oakland in the Josh Donaldson blockbuster.
  • Rockies backstop Michael McKenry will earn $1.0876MM in 2015, via Perchick. McKenry was projected by Swartz to earn $1.5MM.
  • Michael Pineda and the Yankees settled on a $2.1MM salary for the upcoming season, Perchick tweets, which is a direct match with Swartz’s projection.
  • Domonic Brown and the Phillies settled on a one-year pact worth $2.6MM, via Perchick, which represents a difference of just $100K between Swartz’s projection and the actual figure. Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com tweets that Ben Revere has avoided arbitration as well, and the club now announces that he’ll earn $4.1MM — $100K north of his $4MM projection.
  • Red Sox setup man Junichi Tazawa agreed to a $2.25MM payday, according to Perchick. Swartz had pegged him for a $2MM contract.

(more…)


Quick Hits: Upton, Montero, Rays, Hunter, Pirates

MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince names the ten players most likely to be traded this offseason and the Braves’ Justin Upton tops the list. Castrovince feels the Braves could obtain a similar, if not better, return than they received for Jason Heyward because Upton’s powerful bat has tremendous value.

Here are the latest notes from around baseball:

  • Miguel Montero placed tenth on Castrovince’s list and Buster Olney of ESPN.com (on Twitter) wonders if the hiring of Henry Blanco will create traction for the Cubs‘ interest in the Diamondbacks’ catcher, who was a Blanco pupil in 2014. The D’Backs have reportedly spoken with the Cubs, Dodgers, and White Sox about Montero.
  • With Jose Molina gone, the Rays are working to add a backup to Ryan Hanigan, either via trade or signing. They’d like a catcher with more experience than Curt Casali and, preferably, options, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
  • More from Topkin who reports, in addition to an expected trade of Matt Joyce and/or David DeJesus, the Rays may be looking to deal from depth in reserve infielders and relievers. He identifies Logan Forsythe and Sean Rodriguez as infield trade possibilities and Brandon Gomes as a bullpen arm who could be moved.
  • It may not be “sexy,” but the Red Sox‘s pursuit of Pablo Sandoval makes perfect sense, writes Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald. The Red Sox appear to be one of the finalists for Sandoval, alongside the Padres and incumbent Giants.
  • Torii Hunter told Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press he favors the Twins among the teams with which he is considering signing. “(Twins General Manager) Terry Ryan and I have talked several times, and there’s definitely a common interest there, for sure,” the veteran said. Ten teams reportedly have interest in Hunter.
  • The Pirates could re-allocate the resources set aside for Russell Martin to pursue rotation and bullpen help, a first baseman, and/or sign some of their young core to extensions, according to Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.


Rays Notes: Price, Nix, Padres, Forsythe, Torres

Now that Masahiro Tanaka is off the market, teams that missed out on Japanese righty could try to acquire another ace-level pitcher in the form of David Price.  The Price trade rumors had died down as the offseason progressed and there was a growing expectation that Price would be a Ray in 2014, though one Major League executive expects the Rays to reach out to the Dodgers and other teams about Price's availability.  "I have no doubt they will revisit that, starting today," the executive tells Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

  • Jayson Nix's minor league deal with the Rays allows him to look for a Major League job elsewhere if he isn't on Tampa Bay's opening day roster, MLBTR's Zach Links reports (Twitter links).  Nix's deal also allows him to opt out of his contract on June 1 even if he is on the Rays' Major League roster.
  • The Rays and Padres completed a seven-player trade earlier today and Tampa Bay executive VP Andrew Friedman discussed the deal in a conference call with reporters, including Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (two links).  Friedman broke down the five players the Rays received from San Diego and noted that Logan Forsythe "is a guy that we had tried to get previously and a guy that was very high on our target list."
  • While Friedman appreciated the work that Alex Torres had done in Tampa Bay, the Rays felt they had enough left-handed relief depth to use a southpaw as trade bait.

Rays Acquire Logan Forsythe In Seven-Player Trade

Logan Forsythe's name has been on the trading block in the past week or so, and it didn't take the Rays long to make a deal happen. The Rays and Padres have both announced a seven-player deal that sends lefty reliever Alex Torres and right-hander Jesse Hahn to the Padres in exchange for Forsythe, right-hander Brad Boxberger, minor league right-handers Matt Andriese and Matt Lollis, and minor league second baseman Maxx Tissenbaum.

Forsythe-Logan-Padres

We heard yesterday that San Diego was receiving interest in the 27-year-old. With several other utility options, led by Alexi Amarista, the Padres presumably felt Forsythe was expendable. The versatile defender had a nice 2012 campaign (107 OPS+), but struggled last year with a .214/.281/.332 triple-slash in 243 plate appearances last year. Swinging from the right side, Forsythe has had much better success against southpaws over his career than against same-handed hurlers (.793 vs .594 OPS).

The Rays will control Forsythe for four seasons, though only the coming year will be at the league minimum. Having spent time at second, short, third, and the corner outfield, Forsythe certainly fits Tampa's liking for flexible players. He will battle for a roster spot and playing time with players like Sean Rodriguez, Vince Belnome, and Jayson Nix. With prospects Hak-Ju Lee and (more recently) Tim Beckham suffering significant knee injuries, the Rays have seen their middle infield depth tested.

As I noted yesterday, a left-handed reliever would make sense in a deal for Forsythe, and it appears that could be just what the Padres will receive. Torres, 26, emerged last year for Tampa after converting to relief. He tossed 58 innings of 1.71 ERA ball, posting 9.6 K/9 against 3.1 BB/9 and a miniscule 0.897 WHIP. Torres did, however, benefit from a low BABIP (.221), high strand rate (80.2% LOB), and low home run tally (.16 HR/9), making him a candidate for regression. Torres will not be eligible for free agency until 2020. Though the Rays got an extra option year to use on Torres, it appears they used it last year, leaving him without options.

Hahn, 24, entered the 2013 season ranked as the Rays' No. 14 prospect (per Baseball America) and enjoyed a strong year, though he split the season between Class-A Advanced and Rookie Ball — two levels at which he's older than the league average. Still, he posted a 2.09 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 69 innings of work across the two levels. BA notes that at one point heading into the 2010 draft, Hahn looked to be a first-round talent, but an arm injury caused him to fall to the sixth round and ultimately resulted in Tommy John surgery. Though all 20 of his appearances in 2013 were starts, he never pitched more than five innings, and he only hit that total one time. He did not rank among the Rays' Top 10 prospects heading into 2014, per BA.

Boxberger, 25, has a career 2.72 ERA with 10.3 K/9, 5.6 BB/9 and a 41.2 percent ground-ball rate in 49 2/3 innings with the Padres from 2012-13. The former supplemental-round draft pick was one of four players received by the Padres in the trade that sent Mat Latos to the Reds. Boxberger is a power arm that as a prospect was said to have closer upside but needs to limit his walks more effectively to reach that potential. He's averaged just 3.7 BB/9 in his Triple-A career, so there's reason to believe he can improve. He's controllable for six years but projects as a likely Super Two player due to the fact that he has 129 days of service time already under his belt.

The 24-year-old Andriese reached Triple-A for the first time in 2013 and enjoyed a strong season overall, compiling a 3.27 ERA with 7.0 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 134 2/3 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. MLB.com ranked him 19th among Padres prospects following the season, noting that he could profile as a middle-of-the-rotation starter. BA ranked him 20th heading into 2013 and agreed with the mid-rotation upside, praising his power curveball and noting that if he didn't make it as a starter, his arm should translate to the bullpen.

Lollis, 23, transitioned to the bullpen full-time in 2013 and posted a 4.62 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 across three levels, including Triple-A. However, most of his success came at Class-A Advanced (2.32 ERA), as he posted ERAs north of 6.00 in Double-A and Triple-A. Lollis once ranked among the Padres' Top 5 prospects (per BA) but has seen his stock fall dramatically over the past three years.

Tissenbaum, 22, was an 11th-round pick by the Padres in 2012. In his first full season of pro ball, the lefty swinger that shares an alma mater with Joe Nathan (Stony Brook University) batted .277/.365/.359 with a pair of homers and four stolen bases in 490 plate appearances for Class-A Fort Wayne.

Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish first reported that Forsythe was headed to the Rays and Torres was likely on his way to Tampa. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times confirmed Torres' involvement (via Twitter), and ESPN's Keith Law reported that Hahn, Andriese, Lollis and Boxberger were changing hands (All Twitter links). Topkin then reported that a fifth player could be headed to Tampa as well (via Twitter), which was confirmed when the Padres announced the deal.

Steve Adams contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Padres Fielding Trade Calls On Logan Forsythe

The Padres have been contacted by multiple clubs with interest in utilityman Logan Forsythe, reports Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (via Twitter). Forsythe, who just turned 27, has spent most of his MLB time at second, though he has also logged innings at third, short, and the corner outfield.

Last week, we learned that the Yankees had inquired with San Diego about a trade for an infielder, with Forsythe reportedly the most realistic subject of a possible deal. While other clubs with potential interest remain unknown, Forsythe's versatility makes him a reasonable target for many organizations.

Forsythe swings from the right side of the plate, and carries a lifetime .241/.310/.349 line in 762 plate appearances over three seasons. After a solid 2012 (107 OPS+), Forsythe struggled last year with a .214/.281/.332 triple-slash in 243 plate appearances. He will be eligible for arbitration for the first time next year.

From the Padres' perspective, Forsythe clearly does not have a starting spot and may be somewhat redundant with fellow utility player Alexi Amarista. With several other depth options also under contract — including Ryan Jackson, Brandon Wood, and Alberto Gonzalez — the club could try to flip Forsythe for a southpaw bullpen piece or low-level prospects.