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The Dodgers Can Afford To Trade Jose De Leon

Logan Forsythe

The Dodgers had a remarkable season in 2016. Despite being unable to win a National League pennant and that nasty World Series drought reaching 29 years and counting, the Dodgers still had an incredible season for all accounts. The club set the record for most players on a disabled list, and most days lost to the disabled list for any major league club yet still won the NL West and reached the NLCS.

For the record the Dodgers once had their entire starting rotation (Clayton Kershaw included) on the disabled list and still finished with a 91-71 record and won their fourth consecutive NL West title by 4 games over the Giants. Of course they did have some help along the way, such as the Giant’s huge second-half collapse. Yet they still found themselves facing the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS. It was unbelievable.

The top two clubs in the National League were the Cubs and the Washington Nationals. The Dodgers came in at a close third place, and the Giants and Mets were wild cards. The Cubs won 103 games, and Washington won 95. Both clubs were going to be difficult to beat. The Dodgers were able to knock off the Nationals during an emotionally draining and exhausting 5-game playoff series that saw the Dodgers come from behind to win the final two games.

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So there the Dodgers were, in the NLCS and playing those daunting Cubs. And you know what? The Dodgers played them tough. As a matter of fact the Dodgers won two of the first three games and had a 2-1 series lead before they folded up like a beach chair. It’s fair to say the Dodgers got tired. The Cubs were just a little bit better. Well ok, the Cubs are an amazingly tough team. They are exceptionally good.

The Dodgers played them well though. The series went 6 games as the Cubs were forced to clinch the series at home. Just imagine if Joe Blanton had not given up that grand slam home run to Miguel Montero when game 1 was tied at 3-3. What if the Dodgers had won the first three games and had a 3-0 series lead? I guess we’ll never know.

So why am I bringing this up? Dave Cameron of Fangraphs wrote a very interesting article about the Logan Forsythe trade. It’s an interesting perspective about comparing Forsythe and Brian Dozier, and asking why the Dodgers made the trade.

For the record I do think that Dozier is a superior player right now. No disrespect towards Forsythe though. As I have previously written, I think he is a sure handed solid hitting second baseman. Forsythe is a respectable yet not flashy player. Comparing the two second baseman is not like comparing apples to oranges. Dozier is a better player in terms of raw power, speed and base running. Just three years ago Forsythe was basically a utility player. Once he reached Tampa Bay he turned his career around and two good seasons later he’s being traded to the Dodgers.

The Dodgers had to give up one of their best pitching prospects to get him though. Jose De Leon is projected to be a very strong pitcher. Possibly a top of the rotation guy. There is talk that he needs to better develop his third and fourth pitches, but for now he looks to be talented and full of promise. We saw a glimpse of his talent last September in a spot start against the Padres. Sure enough De Leon showed his power pitching striking out 9 Padres hitters and showed impressive presence on the mound.

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Cameron asks the question that some of us have been wondering. The Dodgers couldn’t work out a deal with the Twins for Dozier. So why did they give up De Leon for Forsythe? Considering that Dozier is a superior player? I think I know the answer to that. The answer is Kike Hernandez.

The Dodgers couldn’t work out a trade for Dozier. The Twins were asking for too much, or perhaps the Dodgers did not want to part with some of the other top prospects that could be considered more valuable. They did not want to trade Cody Bellinger who is the heir apparent to Adrian Gonzalez at first base. They did not want to part with Yadier Alvarez, or Walker Buehler. They didn’t want to trade Alex Verdugo, or even Brock Stewart.

The reason the Dodgers traded Jose De Leon for Logan Forsythe is because they had a huge gigantic hole at second base and if they didn’t fill it with a decent major league caliber second baseman then they would be stuck with nothing more than a .190 hitting utility banana man at second base. For that I am grateful for Logan Forsythe.

As Cameron noted the Dodgers traded from a position of strength, (pitching depth) in order to save them from the sure failure of a Kike Hernandez keystone platoon. It doesn’t look like toolsy prospect Willie Calhoun is ready, and the only other options are Chris Taylor, Charlie Culberson, or unknown Cuban defector Jose Miguel Fernandez. Starting Hernandez at second base would make them considerably weaker.

The Dodgers were just two wins away from the World Series. Championship clubs do not have a second baseman that bats under the Mendoza line. In contrast the Cubs’ second baseman Ben Zobrist batted .272 and posted an .831 OPS. Zobrist blasted 18 home runs and walked 96 times. Logan Forsythe is an enormous improvement over Kike Hernandez or any of the other castoffs the Dodgers had lingering around for second base. The Dodgers can probably afford to lose Jose De Leon and thank goodness they can.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

23 thoughts on “The Dodgers Can Afford To Trade Jose De Leon

  1. As has been stated numerous times, the Dodgers are stocked in the minors with good RH starting pitching. Deleon obviously had lost some favor in the Dodger FO. Not sure why, but it was totally obvious because his name was in so many rumored deals.

  2. I’m on the other side. I think we gave up too much for an avg 2B. But someone brought up (correctly) that Turner didn’t have much of a resume when he came from the Mets. But what’s done is done.

    BTW you didn’t add Sweeney to that long list of backup 2B’s.

    1. Most likely because Sweeny was here before and traded away when they got Jimmy Rollins. Again, Sweeney is AAA depth. Little chance of making the team. But there are 22 non roster invitees and most of them have as much chance as the proverbial snowball……

      1. I agree with Scott, that we did need a decent second base men.

        Let’s just hope that they didn’t evaluate JDL, on only his four major league starts.

        He didn’t get the time that Urias and Stewart got, to be able to grow as the season went along, at the major league level.

        And four starts is to small of a sample, to base an evaluation on.

        And even though we have depth in young right hand starting pitching prospects, we better hope they evaluated these prospects correctly, and hope that they stay healthy.

        I think anyone who has a problem with this trade, it would be probably be because the front office has traded away four, of our young pitching prospects, and we didn’t get much for them.

        That is because we only got Hill for those few starts, and those three pitching prospects, should have been more then enough for Hill, without having to take on Reddick too.

        The A’s have Cotton penciled in to be in there starting pitching rotation this next year, and we didn’t even have him that close.

        It will be interesting to see what happens to JDL, with the Rays.

        I guess we have to see what we get from Hill, and see what JDL does with the Rays, to see how this turns out.

        That is because the front office has said, that they could trade JDL, because they were able to sign Hill.

  3. I look at the trade this way: We had Howie Kendrick for one more year, and he was adequate and could hit .260 in his sleep. I don’t think health was an issue. We trade him for nothing and end up having to trade a quality arm for a 2B. We basically got nothing for DeLeon. Stupid.

    1. I agree with with this Bobbie, they created a hole where there was none ( kendrick ), and then had to part with a valuable young player to fill it. ( I know Howie was getting a little long in the tooth (old), but still serviceable).

      Same as when they traded away Dee, and then Haney to get Kendrick.

      Amazing. I get having to deal because of injury, or not having anyone in the system, but to create holes
      where none are present is just insane. And it took 6-7 GMs making bank on their staff to accomplish.

      That said, I’m happy enough with Logan F. since we didn’t have to give up more, and he has turned in 3 plus seasons of very a good 2nd baseman , very comparable to both Kinsler, and Dozier.

      1. Check your stats boys. Utley played 2B most of the time last year not Kendrick. Kendrick was utilized in the outfield more than at 2nd. So there was a hole there. They obviously did not think Kendrick could carry the load as an every day second sacker. Kendrick is also not a leadoff hitter. More of a #2 guy. They do not trust Toles to win the everyday LF job or he might have been the leadoff hitter. Forsythe is going to fill that role, and another thing, they obviously feel it was worth it. Twins wanted a haul for Dozier, the FO went after their second choice without really losing someone who was being counted on to pitch every 5th day…..

    2. Bobbie 17

      I know that you questioned that move from the begining, and you do make a good point.

      I think they wanted to get rid of Howie, because they were not going to play him at second, and Howie wanted to go to another team, so he could play full time.

      It sounds like Howie wasn’t being a team player, because Roberts was getting flack from Howie, about Howie’s playing time.

      But even with that, I guess the front office, could have tried to make a better deal.

      I can see where you are coming from, because if Logan doesn’t hit with that much more power, he isn’t going to give the team, much more then Howie did, in 2015.

      And the only big difference, between Howie and Logan, is really on defense, from what people say.

      And Logan is younger too.

      Let’s hope all of Logan’s intangibles, make a big difference, like his former team mates, seem to think.

    3. I think it was a mistake to trade Howie before they had a replacement. Put themselves in position of having to make a trade and possibly giving up too much. Can they afford the trade? Probably–chances of De Leon being the next Pedro Martinez are slim, and they have a lot of pitching prospects in the pipeline. Shame they couldn’t have moved some of the deadwood to make way for Jose, though.

  4. Disagree with Bobbie and Rock, Kendrick was and is, in serious decline. He was no longer an everyday guy and his defense was also lagging. He was going to get $10M for playing half a schedule as a bench guy. I do not necessarily agree with giving up JDL but I think the Dodgers absolutely filled a hole and Kendrick would have turned into Hernandez for a full season. JMO.

    1. I guess I just don’t have anything to say. Posting over and over the tiny bits of baseball news is pointless. And everytime I post anything else that I find much more interesting, someone gets all excited and upset about it. I guess they prefer lots of blank pages here. They can’t seem to understand that a blog must be interesting enough to attract readers, lots of readers, or it goes out of business… Maybe Timmons was right.

      1. Jonah,

        Mark is norishing his site, so he is going to get more traffic.

        Some people are die hard Mark’s fans, and others, will post on both sites, but there isn’t much to expand on here, and on baseball in general right now, like you said.

        Mark does a good job of making people think, and he is answering most of the comments, by people.

        Mark owns his company, so he can do all of that stuff.

        And I believe Scott has to put in more hours at work, so he doesn’t have as much, free time.

        I wouldn’t let some of those remarks stop you, from saying what you want .

        I tried to bring up a different subject with Chili, but no response yet.

        That is the difference here, people are welcome to say anything, they want.

        Badger not posting here, isn’t going to change anything.

        He should just post here, and try not to take anything personally by people, posting at Mark’s site.

        Because it isn’t personal for most, it is just there is more traffic there, right now.

        And Mark has changed the subject manner, almost everyday.

        But I know there is a lot of history, with some of the commenters here, so that is why he feels that way.

        1. I would guess that Badger might be having health problems. But hope not. It can’t be forced, if they have no interest in other subjects, that’s just the way it is. What I like or don’t like is of little consequence, I can’t and won’t try to force it on anyone. Que sera, sera.

          1. Jonah

            Not everyone feels that way, so don’t, sweat it.

            I hope Badger is ok too.

            I like him, and like you have said, most just don’t want to get in between, those two.

            It isn’t a preference for one, over another.

            And as much, as things seem to be different now, they will probably, be the same.

            The season, hasn’t even started yet.

      2. Wondering,

        Not sure what you want here. I think we’ve posted some pretty interesting articles here over the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately there is not much Dodger related news going on save for the logan Forsythe trade.

        Just a week ago an article here had 418 posts. I have no idea how many page views mark is getting over there but I find it funny how a lot of the posters who yelled about how much they hated mark are now over there posting. People can do what they want but once the season starts things will pick back up. And most everyone will be back. We support free discussion over here but people need to stop bashing this community. The other site does not support free discussion. If you bad mouth the front office over there you will probably get banned. Let’s not compare apples to oranges here.

        I don’t have time to reply to every comment unfortunately I wish I did. Reach out to other posters and invite them back. This is a community.

        1. I wasn’t bashing the site, nor the articles, although I seldom read them. And I certainly was not praising Mark’s place, have no intention of going there. I know it is greedy of me but I come here for entertainment, and that would be defined as new data on almost any subject, and the discussion between people on those subjects. That is what it would take to make it interesting for me, not a half dozen commenters saying the same tiny bit of Dodger news that has already been floating around for weeks or months. There is an unending supply of data to discuss on books, movies, music, food, stories from school years, vacations that went wrong, stories from work(for instance, two people I worked with committed suicide, another was shot and killed on site, and another seriously wounded). Everybody has life experiences to share. And when baseball is not giving us anything , that would be a good time to break them out to share.

  5. Yeah Forsythe lead the Rays to all those championships so the intangibles are off the chart. Let’s face it, if the Dodgers win a pennant it will be because their pitchers stayed healthy and performed above expectations. Or at least up to expectations. That and really good defense.

    1. Since 1958

      What is your take on how they evaluated JDL?

      Was it just his four starts at the major league level, or something else?

      He went from second best pitching prospect, to being tradable.

      I thought I read that he didn’t even use one of his better pitches, at the major league level, when he got in trouble, in some of those games.

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