The luckiest fan around

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I’ve been going to baseball games since the Carter administration and I’ve never even sniffed a foul ball. I think the closest I’ve ever been to getting a souvenir was six or seven rows. So you’ll understand my jealousy of one Brian Cardis:

While most fans go a lifetime without catching a foul ball, Cardis caught two in the upper deck in a span of four pitches with the Dodgers’ James Loney batting in the ninth inning Sunday.

Both plays were nearly the same – high popups that floated over the first deck, carried three rows deep into the club-level seats behind third base in the second deck and directly into Cardis’ glove.

I’d understand if he had to scramble for ’em. It’s Pittsburgh in late September, so there’s maybe three dozen fans in the whole joint. But these went right to his glove. He was taking a picture of the first one with his phone when the second one came his way.

I’m not exactly sure why I’m jealous. It’s one thing to show off a foul ball back at school on Monday, but I’m in my mid-30s now and there really isn’t anyone who would be all that impressed if I flashed a James Loney foul ball at a staff meeting at work or at a party or something.

But I am jealous. And given that lightning seems to like to strike there, I’m going to see if this Cardis guy puts any of his season tickets on StubHub next summer.

Report: Diamondbacks acquire Steven Souza from Rays in part of three-team deal

Tampa Bay Rays
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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.