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Rays Deal for De León

Jose De León – Photo credit: Tony Capobianco/27 Outs BaseballWatch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

The Tampa Bay Rays needed pitching, and on Monday they made a move to pluck right-handed prospect Jose De León from the Dodgers. Rays’ second baseman Logan Forsythe goes the other way. He leaves Tampa after three seasons.

De León is 24 years old and is rated as the number two prospect in the Dodgers system. He started four games for the Dodgers in 2016, going 2-0 with a 6.35 ERA. All his starts for the Dodgers were in September. He struck out 15, while walking seven, in 17 innings pitched.

Before his call-up to the big leagues, De León spent much of the 2016 season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, going 7-1. He spent four seasons in the Dodgers’ farm system, going 23-13 in 67 games pitched.

This couldn’t have been an easy deal for the Rays, as they gave up a fan favorite in Forsythe, who carried a decent bat to the plate in the middle of their lineup. That said, the deal had to be made. When you can get an arm that can be plugged in to a key rotation spot in the next season or two, it must be done.

Erik Neander, Rays senior vice president of baseball operations and general manager spoke to MLB.com, following the deal. He made it clear it was not an easy decision.

“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,” he said. “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 did have a shoulder issue that caused him to miss time in 2016, but that was not something that kept Tampa from pulling the trigger on this deal.

Jose De León – Credit: Tony Capobianco/27 Outs

A friend who follows the Rays sent a text after the deal was announced and simply said, “robbery by the Rays.”

This friend is likely not alone in his thoughts. Fans will miss Forsythe, but the fact that the Rays made this move shows a commitment to improving the team in a big way and that’s all anyone can ask, as a fan.

In a separate move, the Rays signed righty Shawn Tolleson to a one-year deal. He spent the last three seasons with the Texas Rangers, allowing 31 runs in 37 innings in 2016. He had an ERA of 7.68 before a lower-back strain forced him to miss the final two months of the season.

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