Rafael Soriano may accept aribitration

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Braves fan glass half-empty response: “D’oh! That’s less money available to go and get a bat!”

Braves fan glass half-full response: “Man, our bullpen is gonna be epic!

It’s been widely speculated that right-hander Rafael Soriano who was offered salary arbitration by the Braves this week, will
decline the offer and hit the open market as a free agent. But
Soriano’s agent said Saturday that the pitcher is giving serious
consideration to accepting arbitration and returning to Atlanta for a
one-year deal.

“It’s going to go down to the wire,” said agent Peter Greenberg. “It’s definitely going to be a last-minute decision for us.”

The last time the Braves offered arbitration to a guy they were certain was going to leave was Greg Maddux before the 2003 season.  It cost them $14.75 million and turned the team off of the arbitration game for a long time, arguably costing them some draft picks along the way. Still, the 2003 Braves won 101 games, in part because Greg Maddux was there to bolster the pitching staff.

So basically, I’m not going to cry about it if Soriano accepts arbitration, even if Frank Wren does.

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.