Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Rays GM Erik Neander told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday that he does not anticipate a further teardown of the roster.

This offseason the Rays have traded Evan Longoria, Jake Odorizzi, Steven Souza, and Brad Boxberger, and they also designated Corey Dickerson for assignment last weekend, but that may be the end of the subtractions for a while. "Extremely unlikely," said Neander when asked about the possibility of spring training trades involving Chris Archer, Kevin Kiermaier, or Alex Colome. "Our focus at this point is we'd like to add a little bit. We're not looking to pull this thing back." Archer has drawn reported interest from the Cardinals, Phillies, Brewers, and Twins, among others, but the asking price is thought to be sky high on the 29-year-old right-hander, who is due just $6.4 million in 2018 and $7.6 million in 2019 with affordable club options for both 2020 and 2021.
Feb 21 - 1:02 AM

Free agent right-hander Luke Hochevar (shoulder) is still battling symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome.

Hochevar is hoping to land with a team at some point this spring, but that probably won't happen until he is symptom-free. The 34-year-old right-hander hasn't appeared in a major league game since July 2016 and he didn't pitch anywhere professionally in 2017 while recovering from thoracic outlet surgery. "We don’t know the timetable," Hochevar's agent Scott Boras said Tuesday. "But the doctors say [his shoulder] should come back. We just don’t know when."
Feb 20 - 9:31 PM

Yankees designated OF Jabari Blash for assignment.

The move clears a 40-man roster spot for infielder Brandon Drury, who was acquired from the Diamondbacks in a three-team swap on Tuesday. Blash was traded to the Yankees in December in a deal that sent Chase Headley and Bryan Mitchell to the Padres. The 28-year-old outfielder owns an underwhelming .200/.323/.336 career batting line in 279 plate appearances at the major league level, but he could draw interest on waivers.
Feb 20 - 8:02 PM

Diamondbacks acquired OF Steven Souza from the Rays as part of a three-team trade.

Tampa Bay received second base prospect Nick Solak from the Yankees and left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda plus two players to be named later from the Diamondbacks. Brandon Drury is going to New York. Souza had a career year with the Rays in 2017, posting an .810 OPS with 30 home runs in 148 games, and he should maintain a good amount of fantasy value in Arizona, even with a humidor coming to Chase Field. The 28-year-old outfielder is under control through 2020. He'll make $3.55 million in 2018 -- his first year of arbitration.
Feb 20 - 7:58 PM

Yankees acquired INF Brandon Drury from the Diamondbacks as part of a three-team trade.

New York is sending second base prospect Nick Solak to the Rays and right-handed pitching prospect Taylor Widener to the Diamondbacks. Arizona will also get outfielder Steven Souza from Tampa Bay. Drury has long been of interest to the Yankees and figures to open the 2018 season as their starting third baseman, allowing prospect Miguel Andujar to get a little more seasoning in the minor leagues. Drury also has a lot of experience at second base and some in the corner outfield. He flashed decent power in Arizona and could carry deep-league fantasy value in the Bronx. The 25-year-old is under control through 2021.
Feb 20 - 7:53 PM

Rays acquired LHP Anthony Banda from the Diamondbacks as part of a three-team trade.

Tampa Bay also got second base prospect Nick Solak from the Yankees and two players to be named later from Arizona. Banda posted a disappointing 5.96 ERA and 25/10 K/BB ratio over his 25 2/3 major league innings (four starts, four relief appearances) last season, but the 24-year-old left-hander was ranked a top-100 prospect by Baseball America one year ago and he has posted good numbers as a starter in the minor leagues. Banda will presumably compete for an Opening Day rotation spot in Rays camp this spring.
Feb 20 - 7:47 PM

Rays acquired 2B Nick Solak from the Yankees as part of a three-team trade.

Solak, a second-round pick in 2016 out of the University of Tennessee, slashed .297/.384/.452 with 12 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 130 games last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times says the 23-year-old will report to the major league side of Rays camp and join the competition for the starting second base job.
Feb 20 - 7:43 PM

Diamondbacks acquired RHP Taylor Widener from the Yankees as part of a three-team trade.

The main headlines of this deal: Steven Souza is heading to the Diamondbacks and Brandon Drury is going to the Yankees. Widener, a 12th-round pick in 2016 out of the University of South Carolina, has registered a promising 2.68 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 188/57 K/BB ratio over his first 157 2/3 professional innings. The 23-year-old right-hander finished the 2017 season in High-A ball.
Feb 20 - 7:38 PM

Giants signed LHP Manny Parra to a minor league contract.

Parra hasn't appeared in a major league game since 2015 and spent most of the 2017 season pitching for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League. He'll be organizational depth for San Francisco in 2018.
Feb 20 - 7:00 PM

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have acquired Steven Souza from the Rays as part of a three-team trade.

Brandon Drury is headed to the Yankees, who are sending second base prospect Nick Solak to the Rays and right-handed pitching prospect Taylor Widener to the Diamondbacks. Tampa Bay will also get left-hander Anthony Banda from the D'Backs and two players to be named later -- both from Arizona's minor league system. The three-team swap has yet to be confirmed by any of the clubs involved, but those announcements should be coming shortly.

Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Rays are in the process of acquiring Yankees second base prospect Nick Solak.

The return is unknown, but Solak is a fairly well-regarded prospect, so this could be part of something big. The 23-year-old hit .297/.384/.452 with 12 homers and 14 stolen bases in 130 games last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. He was a second-round pick in 2016 out of the University of Louisville.
Feb 20 - 6:27 PM

Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi said he has kept an "open dialogue" with Clayton Kershaw about his contract status.

Kershaw has an opt-out after the 2018 season and figures to exercise it if everything goes smoothly for him this summer. Zaidi wouldn't comment on whether the two parties have already discussed a contract extension. Kershaw, 29, is currently due $35.57 million this season, $34.57 million next season, and $35.57 million for 2020. The ace left-hander registered a 2.31 ERA, 0.949 WHIP, and 202/30 K/BB ratio across 175 innings in 2017.
Feb 20 - 6:11 PM

Cuban outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez will be free to sign with a Major League Baseball team on March 6.

Ben Badler of Baseball America notes that this "doesn't necessarily mean Martinez will sign during the current signing period, since some teams have already exhausted their 2017-18 bonus pools." The 21-year-old could instead wait until July 2, when the 2018-19 signing period begins. Badler pegs the Marlins, Rangers, and Yankees as the early favorites for Martinez, who batted .333/.469/.498 in 264 plate appearances during his final season in Cuba, with 52 walks, 30 strikeouts, and 24 stolen bases in 29 attempts.
Feb 20 - 5:13 PM

Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star writes that it is "unlikely" the Royals will sign free agent Logan Morrison.

Morrison is a Kansas City native and the Royals have been tied to him at various points this offseason, but it doesn't sound like the 30-year-old slugger is a serious consideration at this juncture. "We’ve always admired his ability," Royals GM Dayton Moore said of Morrison on Tuesday. "But again, I go back to the economic part of it. That’s very real to us. That’s very real." Maybe if the asking price falls further this story could change. Morrison posted a career-best .868 OPS, 38 homers, and 85 RBI over 149 games with the Rays in 2017.
Feb 20 - 5:01 PM

Rangers manager Jeff Banister confirmed Tuesday that Joey Gallo is locked in as the club's everyday first baseman for 2018.

Gallo started 66 games at third base in 2017 and also spent some time in left field, but the Rangers don't want the 24-year-old slugger to bounce around as much defensively this season. "Right now, and the immediate prospect of what the team is, it's first base," said Banister. "Joey has an athletic body. I think he's athletic enough to go back [to third], but right now we are focused on first base." Obviously some of this hinges on veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre having better luck on the health front. Gallo carries massive fantasy upside into the 2018 campaign after tallying 41 home runs and 80 RBI in 145 games last year.
Feb 20 - 4:17 PM



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