There will be fewer hugs in the Rays dugout this year.
According to reports, Steven Souza Jr. has been traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks send Brandon Drury to the Yankees.
The Rays receive LHP Anthony Banda from Arizona and Nick Solak, who plays second base, from the Yankees
Steven Souza Jr. was acquired by the Rays in another three-team deal after the 2014 season. He had been with the Washington Nationals, and came to the Rays along with the Padres’ Jake Bauers and Rene Rivera. In his three years with the Ray, Souza, Jr. slashed .238/.327/.426 while playing an energetic right field. 2017 was his best season, when he was worth 4.2 WAR. Entering his first year of arbitration, he was due to get paid $3.5 million.
At least this time the Rays are receiving two pedigreed prospects.
Seemingly determined to have all the middle infield prospects in baseball, the Rays pick up second baseman Nick Solak, a 2016 draft pick out of University of Louisville who finished up 2017 with the AA Trenton Thunder.
He has been ranked as the fifth best second base prospect by MLB pipeline.
Anthony Banda is a left-handed pitcher who made his major league debut in 2017. Initially drafted by the Brewers, he was named the Diamondbacks top prospect in 2016. Baseball America notes his mid-90s fastball and plus curveball.
I feel sorry for the Rays marketing staff, who have to figure out whose image to paste on the walls of the stadium and whose bobblehead night they can safely promote.
It's like the Marlins and Rays are in a massive game of chicken where there can be no winners save for the players who get traded somewhere far, far better.— Mary Craig (@marymcraig) February 21, 2018
While the deal has been widely reported, as of this writing there has been no official confirmation from any of the teams.