Throughout the offseason the Los Angeles Dodgers have been connected to Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler, Brian Dozier of the Minnesota Twins and Tampa Bay Rays’ Logan Forsythe. Kinsler’s name was first to surface, though Dozier’s has been mentioned in trade speculation with the most frequency.
Los Angeles and Minnesota were said to be discussing a potential trade involving Dozier for the better part of the past month, if not longer. The Dodgers have shown a reported willingness to include Jose De Leon in a trade, but who else the Twins would receive has remained a hurdle.
Minnesota set a rough deadline to arrive at a decision on Dozier, which is nearing, and on Tuesday talks reportedly reached an impasse.
With a clear need at second base, Los Angeles is now expected to revisit trade scenarios involving Forsythe and Kinsler, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:
So, with Dozier out of reach — at least for the moment — the Dodgers are expected to circle back to earlier trade pursuits of the Rays’ Logan Forsythe and Tigers’ Ian Kinsler, both of whom, like Dozier, bat right-handed.
Kinsler batted batted .288/.348/.484 with 29 doubles, 28 home runs, 83 RBI and a 124 OPS+ in 153 games last season. He fared well against left-handed pitching, hitting .309/.369/.525 with 10 doubles, seven home runs and a 141 OPS+ in 141 plate appearances.
Kinsler won the first Gold Glove Award of his career, previously finishing as a finalist in 2014 and 2015. A stumbling block for the Dodgers to trading for Kinsler is his limited no-trade clause.
The 34-year-old said in November he is willing to approve a deal, though only if the Dodgers were to sign him to a contract extension. Kinsler has $21 million remaining on his contract through 2018. Though, his deal includes a $10 million club option and $5 million buyout for the final year.
Forsythe reportedly was discussed as a complementary piece in a potential trade for one of the Rays young starting pitchers prior to the non-waiver deadline. Prior to this point, the last report of the Dodgers’ continued interest in Forsythe came in December.
Forsythe hit .264/.333/.444 with 24 doubles, 20 home runs, 52 RBI and a 113 OPS+ in 567 plate appearances over 127 games last season. Forsythe’s .778 on-base plus slugging percentage was down from an .804 clip in 2015 but was still good for the second-best mark of his career.
The 30-year-old is owed $5.75 million in 2017 and has a $9 million club option with a $1 million buyout for 2018. Forsythe can earn additional an $500,000 each for 550 and 600 plate appearances in 2017, and another $500,000 should he tally a combined 1,200 plate appearances from 2016-17.
Comparatively, Dozier is under contract for the next two seasons at a modest $15 million ($6 million in 2017, $9 million the following year).
Kinsler was ranked the No. 3 second baseman by ESPN, Dozier checked in at No. 9, and Forsythe was included as a honorable mention.