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Forsythe impresses Maddon with acumen

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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Logan Forsythe said he spent most of his first few hours with the Rays just trying to get used to his new surroundings, but he managed to leave a strong initial impression on manager Joe Maddon.

"He's a very self-confident guy. I think he's very self-aware. He knows himself. He just understands himself well," Maddon said Tuesday, the day Forsythe reported to camp. "We put a lot of stuff out there in the meeting. The sheet that we put out there is one of the more impressive sheets I could possibly read at these meetings regarding what he's capable of doing.

"You bring some things to his attention that he had not been aware of before, and you tell him what you think. We always give the guys a chance to verbalize back at us. Very precise, very erudite kind of guy. He understands. It was good, because when you get somebody like that and you really think highly of him, to know that he also supports his physical abilities with his mental abilities, that's kind of nice. He kind of rang true on all accounts today."

Forsythe, who played five positions last season, said he was excited about the idea of being a super-utility man for the Rays. Tampa Bay values versatility, particularly on defense, and Forsythe believes the Rays were a natural fit considering his skill-set.

"It's definitely a new start, new team, new philosophy. I spoke with Joe and I'm real excited about the versatility aspect, kind of relieved to know that's what I'm going to be used for," said Forsythe, who was acquired in the seven-player trade that sent left-handed reliever Alex Torres to the Padres. "Now, it's just go out there and get my work in."

Forsythe, 27, hit .214/.281/.332 with six homers in 75 games last year. He hasn't been told where he'll spend most of his time defensively, but he came prepared -- with three gloves and two more on the way.

"I kind of knew in advance that Tampa was on me a little bit," Forsythe said. "I didn't know it was going to go as quickly as it did, but yeah, with San Diego, it was a little stressful -- not too stressful -- but the stress kind of went to ease when I got here and that's what I knew I was going to be used for, my versatility."

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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