Steven Souza Jr. Traded to Diamondbacks; Brandon Drury to Yankees in 3-Team Deal

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2018

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 04:  Brandon Drury #27 of the Arizona Diamondbacks takes batting practice before the start of the National League Wild Card game against the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field on October 4, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to a three-team trade Tuesday that sent third baseman Brandon Drury to the Yankees, right fielder Steven Souza Jr. and right-handed pitcher Taylor Widener to the Diamondbacks and second baseman Nick Solak, left-handed pitcher Anthony Banda and two players to be named to the Rays.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post added context to the Yankees' addition of Drury:

Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

I reported at Winter Meetings and again recently that #Yankees were trying to get Drury. He plays 2b and 3b, NYY thinks 3b is best position plus feel he has ceiling not yet reached

He also offered more analysis on the swap from New York's perspective:

Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

#yankees again trade from areas of depth -- middle infield and RHP -- to address a need. Drury is not yet even arb eligible, so cost efficient for NYY as they vow to stay under $197M threshold

Joel Sherman @Joelsherman1

#Yankees like Solak's bat/athleticism, but have had some questions on glove, plus in Didi, Torres, Wade, Estrada have lots of depth in or close to MLB. Solak was 2d piece NYY offered to #pirates with Frazier to try to get Cole.

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com noted: "Drury gives the Yankees a low-cost starting option at [second base and third base] who can also help off the bench. Can play corner [outfield] spots. More competition for Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres and Tyler Wade."

The deal could be a factor in free agency, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today:

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale

So yet another tanking team damages the free agent market, with the #Yankees no longer needing Moustakas or Walker, and the #Dbacks getting their power hitting outfielder. Take a bow. #Rays

Drury, 25, hit .267 with 13 homers, 63 RBI and 41 runs in 135 games for Arizona last season. In 134 games in 2016, he hit .282 with 16 homers, 53 RBI and 59 runs.

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Solak, 23, is considered the No. 5 second base prospect in baseball, per MLB.com. In 30 games at Double-A Trenton last year, he batted .286 with two homers and nine RBI. In 100 games for Single-A Tampa, he hit .301 to go with 10 homers, 44 RBI and 13 steals.

It's certainly been a busy few days for the Rays, who traded starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi and designated left fielder Corey Dickerson for assignment Saturday. At this point, it's safe to say the Miami Marlins aren't the only Florida team that's tanking.

Souza, 28, had a breakout year for the Rays in 2017, blasting 30 homers to go with 78 RBI and 78 runs, though he hit just .239.

As Nightengale noted, Arizona made a savvy move:

Bob Nightengale @BNightengale

The trade was stroke of genius for #Dbacks who saved themselves $107 million by getting Souza, who replaces JD Martinez

Banda pitched 25.2 major league innings across four starts and eight appearances for the Diamondbacks in 2017 and finished with a 5.96 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 25 strikeouts. At Triple-A Reno, he went 8-7 in 22 starts and recorded a 5.39 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 116 strikeouts in 122 innings.

Widener went 7-8 in 27 starts last year for Single-A Tampa, registering a 3.39 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 129 strikeouts in 119.1 innings.

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