Given their need to fill holes at second and third base and not many attractive options on the free-agent market -- other than possibly bringing back Justin Turner to man the hot corner -- we are sure to see the Dodgers often in trade rumors. We discussed their reported interest with Ian Kinsler a few days ago.
Let's keep in mind that Kinsler is due $11 million next season with a $12 million team option for 2018 that contains a $5 million buyout if it's not picked up. So he's at least $16 million through next season. Let's also keep in mind the rumor that Kinsler wants an extension in exchange for waiving his no-trade clause. Forsythe is due $7 million next year before an $8.5 million option with a $1 million buyout in 2018.
Forsythe would appear the cheaper alternative, then, possibly in terms of money and prospects. Plus, he's much younger. Forsythe is entering his age-30 season while Kinsler hits 35 next year.
Forsythe is no slouch, either. In 127 games last season for the Rays, he hit .264/.333/.444 (113 OPS+) with 24 doubles and 20 home runs. In 2015-16 combined, Forsythe hit .273/.347/.444 (119 OPS+) with 37 home runs. He's a roughly league-average defender at second, too, with one defensive run saved, ranking 10th of 19 second basemen with at least 1,000 innings in 2016.
Better yet at this early point in the offseason is that Forsythe can play third base, too.
So that means an early deal for Forsythe would still keep the Dodgers' options open. They could pursue Turner in hopes of having a 2016 infield of Adrian Gonzalez, Forsythe, Corey Seager and Turner. If Turner signs elsewhere, they could also still swing a trade for Kinsler, then, going forward with Gonzalez, Kinsler, Seager and Forsythe as the everyday infield.
Forsythe isn't exactly a household name, but he has been a very good and underrated performer for the Rays the past two seasons. The Dodgers could do much worse in filling their hole at second base (or third) this offseason.