TAMPA BAY RAYS PRESS RELEASE
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays have traded second baseman Logan Forsythe to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for right-handed pitcher Jose De León.
In addition, the Rays have agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract with free agent right-handed pitcher Shawn Tolleson. He has a chance to earn an additional $1.15 million in incentives.
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"We are very excited to add Jose De León to the Rays organization. He's a talented starting pitching prospect who can soon become a key member of our major league rotation," said Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations/General Manager Erik Neander. "It's a bittersweet day, though, as we part ways with Logan Forsythe in this trade. He's not only a first-class player, but he's also a great teammate and leader in the clubhouse. We will miss him, and we thank him for all he did as a Ray."
De León, 24, made four starts for the Dodgers last September and is 23-13 with a 3.35 ERA (330.2-IP, 123-ER) and 446 strikeouts (12.1 strikeouts per nine innings) in 67 career games (64 starts) across four minor league seasons. In 2016, he went 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA (86.1-IP, 25-ER), 111 strikeouts, .194 opponents' average and 5.55 strikeouts-to-walks ratio in 16 starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City, missing parts of the season with ankle and shoulder injuries. He recorded double-digit strikeouts in five starts, including three straight immediately prior to his selection to the major league roster. He won his major league debut on September 4 against the San Diego Padres, yielding three earned runs and recording nine strikeouts over six innings.
Following the season, De León made Baseball America's Triple-A All-Star Team and was ranked by the publication as the No. 3 prospect in the Pacific Coast League and the No. 3 prospect in the Dodgers organization. Last week, he was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 8 right-handed pitching prospect in baseball entering 2017.
A native of Puerto Rico, De León was selected by the Dodgers in the 24th round of the 2013 June Draft out of Southern University and made his professional debut that season. In 2014, he was named Pitcher of the Year in the Rookie-level Pioneer League and made four starts with Class-A Great Lakes of the Midwest League to finish the season. In his second start there, his 14 strikeouts broke the club record previously held by Clayton Kershaw (12). In 2015, De León split the season between Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa, combining between the two levels to go 6-7 with a 2.99 ERA (114.1-IP, 38-ER) and 163 strikeouts, which tied with Blake Snell for fourth among minor league pitchers.
Forsythe, 30, hit .264/.333/.444 (135-for-511) with 20 home runs and 52 RBI in 127 games (125 starts) in 2016. All of his starts came batting leadoff, and his career-high 20 homers ranked second in club history for a second baseman, behind Ben Zobrist (27) in 2009. In 2015-16, he became the first middle infielder in franchise history with back-to-back seasons of at least 15 homers. Forsythe hit .262/.334/.419 (354-for-1,352) with 43 home runs and 146 RBI over his three seasons with Tampa Bay. He spent the first three seasons of his major league career with the San Diego Padres.
Tolleson, 29, is 14-8 with a 3.92 ERA (218-IP, 95-ER) over his five-year career with the Texas Rangers (2014-16) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2012-13). From 2014-15, he went 9-5 with a 2.88 ERA (144-IP, 46-ER) in 137 appearances, ranking sixth among major league relievers in innings over that span.
In 2015, Tolleson ranked among American League relief leaders in innings (72.1, third), saves (35, fifth), appearances (73, fifth) and strikeouts (76, 11th) en route to a 10th-place finish in AL Cy Young Award voting. He converted a Rangers record 94.6 percent (35 of 37) of his save opportunities that season.
Tolleson went 2-2 with a 7.68 ERA (36.1-IP, 31-ER) and 11 saves in 37 appearances last season, missing the end of the year with a lower back strain. He was outrighted off the Rangers 40-man roster following the season.
Tolleson was selected by the Dodgers in the 30th round of the 2010 June Draft out of Baylor University.