Or so Ken Rosenthal reports. I can’t imagine why they’d want to go with another aging, ex-Red Sox defensive liability in left field after getting rid of Manny Ramirez, but there’s a lot I don’t understand about this world.
If the Dodgers do sign Damon, it would just be the latest in a series of bold moves for a team that many thought would be doing nothing this winter. They’ve already signed Ted Lilly, Juan Uribe, Hiroki Kuroda and Jon Garland for cryin’ out loud. I’d like a Damon signing the least among those moves, however. This is a team that has a pretty nice rotation and a centerfielder in Matt Kemp who took a big step back defensively last season. You think you’d want someone in left who could get after the ball. Or, better yet, a centerfielder who could do so, allowing Kemp to be shifted to left.
As for Damon, if the Dodgers don’t really have any interest in him, no worries: Jon Heyman says that he’d be a great fit on all manner of AL East teams. And if you can’t believe what Heyman says about a Scott Boras client, what can you believe in this crazy world?
The Associated Press is reporting that the spring training schedule will be shortened by two days starting in 2018. That change comes as part of the new collective bargaining agreement, which was agreed to last month.
Specifically, the voluntary reporting date for pitchers, catchers, and injured players has been changed to 43 days before the start of the regular season, down from 45. For the rest of the players, the reporting date is 38 days before the start of the regular season, down from 40.
The change goes hand-in-hand with allowing teams 187 days, rather than 183, to complete their 162-game regular season schedule.
While just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the spring training exhibition schedule is too long, team owners are likely very hesitant to shorten that part of the spring schedule because it would cost them money. So they’re just allowing players to arrive to camp a couple of days later.
Update (7:05 PM EST): The Rays and Dodgers have both announced the trade.
Update (6:57 PM EST): That was fast. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports the two sides have agreed to the trade. Forsythe for De Leon. An announcement is expected shortly.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Dodgers and Rays are “deep into discussions” on a trade involving second baseman Logan Forsythe. Passan adds that the two sides have discussed pitcher Jose De Leon — the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect — as part of the return for Forsythe, but it’s unclear if he’s in the deal currently being discussed.
Forsythe, 30, hit a productive .264/.333/.444 with 20 home runs and 52 RBI in 567 plate appearances in 2016. He was even better the year before, finishing with an .804 OPS. Forsythe can fill the Dodgers’ obvious need at second base, but he also has experience playing third base, first base, shortstop, and corner outfield.
Forsythe is entering the second year of his two-year, $10.25 million contract extension with the Rays. He’ll earn $5.75 million in 2017 and his controlling team has an $8.5 million club option with a $1 million buyout for the 2018 season.