Mike Pelfrey is in the best shape of his life

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Mike Pelfrey.jpgAdd Mets’ pitcher Mike Pelfrey to the list of this offseason’s biggest losers:

One week until Fat Tuesday, but Mike Pelfrey won’t be participating. The
Mets pitcher is prepared to arrive in camp next week some 25 pounds
lighter than last season and believes that will propel him to new
heights after a disappointing 2009.

“I was pretty upset with not
only how the team played, but with how I played last year, knowing
that’s not me,” Pelfrey told The Post yesterday. “I had a lost year. I
had a terrible year.”

A couple of years ago someone — I can’t remember who — did an analysis of how guys did in the seasons after “best shape of his life” articles appeared about him during the spring.  I seem to recall that there actually was an uptick in performance among the newly-dedicated, albeit not a dramatic one.  Enough to make me want to go back and see how Carlos Zambrano, Bobby Jenks, Geovany Soto and Pelfrey did this season come October.  Someone remind me, OK?

As for Pelfrey, I think he will bounce back, if not for the weight, than because he seemed a bit unlucky last year.  He gave up a lot of hits on balls in play, which is something that fluctuates. Also, the poor Mets infield defense victimizes him more than his teammates. That won’t change too much in 2010 — he still doesn’t strike out a ton of guys and the Mets didn’t upgrade the defense any — but maybe a few more balls bounce in his favor.

And if he does bounce back we can chalk it up to the weight loss anyway because it’ll make him feel good and encourage him to lay off the pie again next winter.

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.