What ever will the Red Sox do without Adrian Gonzalez

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Headline of Rob Bradford’s latest column at WEEI: “What becomes of the Red Sox without Adrian Gonzalez.”

Only Red Sox Nation worries about what will happen if
they lose the player they never had in the first place. And they wonder why the rest of the baseball world hates them.

Headline and opening Adrian Gonzalez-coveting paragraphs aside, the bulk of the article is devoted to speculating what the Sox might do to fill the middle of their order going forward.  I don’t really take issue with any of Bradford’s assessments of Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez or David Ortiz, but with his references to Gonzalez, Prince Fielder and regret over not getting Mark Teixeira, it seems like he’s sort of assuming that the Sox absolutely have to bring in some giant middle-of-the-order bat or else all is lost.

The Sox, however, are leading the American League in scoring right now and Kevin Youkilis is performing as if he’s (shock!) a giant, middle-of-the order bat. Probably because he is.  In the grand scheme of things, then, I’m not seeing why the Sox need to go and get someone else huge.

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

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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.

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.