Certain teams tend to place a higher value on defensive versatility than others and the Tampa Bay Rays are on the verge of a deal to bring in yet another player capable of handling multiple positions, agreeing to acquire Logan Forsythe from the San Diego Padres. MLB Daily Dish’s Chris Cotillo first reported that the two sides had reached an agreement, with left-hander Alex Torres being one of the players heading back to San Diego.
ESPN’s Keith Law later confirmed the remaining details. Tampa Bay will receive Forsythe and right-handed pitchers Matt Andriese, Matt Lollis, and Brad Boxberger. San Diego will receive Torres and right-hander Jesse Hahn.
The Padres received calls from multiple teams with interest in Forsythe once it became apparent that they were willing to move him. The 27 year old saw time at second, third, shortstop, and both outfield corners in 2013 but struggled at the plate following a solid 2012. He’d hit just .214/281/.332 across 243 PA this past season, with just 13 extra base hits (6 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR). San Diego’s willingness to move him despite his minimal salary was due largely to the team’s roster makeup, given the presence of Alexi Amarista as an alternative option off the bench that’s capable of handling multiple roles.
Boxberger might be the most well known name of the trio of pitchers coming back to Tampa Bay. The 25 year old has spent some time with the Padres in each of the past two seasons, totaling 49.2 IP over 42 appearances. He’s posted a 2.72 ERA, 1.450 WHIP, and 10.3 K/9 over that stretch. Originally acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in the Mat Latos trade, there was some speculation that Boxberger could develop into a closer option for the Padres in time but opportunities have been limited behind Huston Street and Luke Gregerson. He could be an option late in games for the Rays, depending on how they want to work the matchups in their bullpen.
Andriese made 25 starts between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson in 2013, posting a 3.27 ERA and 1.218 WHIP over 134.2 IP. It was the first season at either level for the 24 year old, so it’s tough to gauge where he could end up initially with the Rays. Lollis bounced around a little more this past season, adding in some time with High-A Lake Elsinore. He’d combine to throw 74.0 IP on the year with a 4.62 ERA and 1.689 WHIP.
Torres, 26, will give the Padres bullpen an experienced lefty coming off a solid season – something the team had made no secret they were looking to acquire. He made 39 appearances for the Rays in 2013, totaling 58.0 IP of a 1.71 ERA and 0.897 WHIP.
Hahn posted a 2.09 ERA and 1.116 WHIP over 69.0 IP this past season, spent mostly with High-A Charlotte. He was the Rays’ 6th Round pick in the 2010 Draft. He’s yet to appear heavily in prospect rankings, but some scouts believe he could be one of the best right-handed arms in the Rays’ system.