So why exactly did the Rays trade well-respected Logan Forsythe
So why exactly did the Rays trade 2B Logan Forsythe, taking one of the key hitters out of their lineup and upsetting some of their players, led by veteran star Evan Longoria?
Because they felt the chance to get a young, high-upside, premium starting pitcher prospect like Jose De Leon was worth it.
And, GM Erik Neander said, because it's the kind of move they have to make, as they have done many times before, to try to remain competitive with the financial resources of other teams.
"Adding Jose where he's at certainly deepens our starting pitching and we're excited about that,'' Neander said. "It's very important as we try to have success in 2017 and into the future.
"Our eyes are constantly on where we're at in 2017 and beyond that. In this case, beyong that .. the later, I don't think is too far off.
"This is what we do, and I think it's a big reason we've been able to have the sucess that we've had over time. And it's what we believe will get us to the point of being successful again.''
Part of that philosophy is the calculus based on contractual control - the Rays will get six years of De Leon (and the first three at near the major-league minimum, so less than $1.8-million total) in exchange for two years of Forsythe, at more than $15-million.
Neander said the Rays were expecting Forsythe to again be a key part of their lineup, but when the Dodgers - and former Rays boss Andrew Friedman - was willing to give up De Leon, they felt they had to listen.
"Going into the winter this (trading Forsythe) was certainly nothing that was on our to-do list,'' Neander said. "There was an opportunity here in our minds to acquire a talent, acquire a pitcher that we have evaluated very highly. And we felt it was an opportunity that we needed to take advantage of, as difficult of a decision as it was.''
Longoria had the most pointed public reaction to the deal, texting the Times:
"I don't really have much. I'm surprised and upset at losing a player, clubhouse presence and friend like Logan. He's a rare player. I always wish him the best.''
Rays RHP Chris Archer tweeted:
"I'm really, really, really gonna miss Logie bear. Doesn't get more classy or blue collar than him. Happy I was able to play with that man. ... with that being said, we welcome @JDL_87 with open arms.''