Bloggers shed light on Valverde age controversy

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Sparked by some nice work from MLB Trade Rumors and MVN’s Lisa Gray, the Astros have revealed that an error was made in recent media guides, giving Jose Valverde a birthdate of June 24, 1979, rather than his actual DOB of March 24, 1978.
This obviously wasn’t just an Astros mistake, as Valverde has been listed as a 1979 birth by many publications dating back to his days as a prospect in the Arizona system. Others have had the correct date. I believe Rotoworld has always gone by the correct date, though I’m struggling to come up with any old examples of us stating Valverde’s age. I did have him listed at age 32, as of Opening Day, 2010, in our free agency preview back in May.
Even if some teams did think he was 15 months younger than he is, it really shouldn’t be much of an issue when he becomes a free agent this winter. Age is far more of an issue when it comes to hitters. Assuming that he finishes the season healthy, Valverde figures to be regarded as the top closer available over alternatives like Rafael Soriano, Fernando Rodney, Billy Wagner and Mike Gonzalez.

Report: Diamondbacks acquire Steven Souza from Rays; Yankees land Brandon Drury

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Update (6:35 PM ET): This is a three-team deal also involving the Diamondbacks, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Diamondbacks will receive outfielder Steven Souza from the Rays and second baseman Brandon Drury will head to the Yankees. Lefty reliever Anthony Banda will go to the Rays, Piecoro adds. The Diamondbacks will also receive prospect Taylor Widener from the Yankees, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert adds that the Rays will get two players to be named later from the D-Backs.

Souza, 28, is earning $3.55 million in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility, so the Rays are presumably saving money in moving him. Last season, Souza hit a productive .239/.351/.459 with 30 home runs, 78 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 617 plate appearances. Souza’s arrival almost certainly pushes Yasmany Tomas out of a starting gig.

Drury, 25, has played a handful of positions in his brief major league career. Last year, he played second base in Arizona, batting .267/.317/.447 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 480 PA.

Banda, 24, made his major league debut last season, posting an ugly 5.96 ERA with a 25/10 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. The peripherals suggest he pitched better than his ERA indicated.

Widener, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the 12th round of the 2016 draft. This past season with High-A Tampa, he pitched 119 1/3 innings and posted a 3.39 ERA with a 129/50 K/BB ratio. MLB Pipeline rated Widener as the 14th-best prospect in the Yankees’ system.

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Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Rays will acquire second base prospect Nick Solak from the Yankees. The Yankees’ return is presently not known.

Solak, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2016 draft. He spent last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, hitting a combined .297/.384/.452 with 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 72 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

MLB Pipeline ranked Solak as the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees’ system and the fifth-best second base prospect in baseball, praising him for his ability to hit line drives as well as his speed.