Report: the Rangers are inquiring about Prince Fielder

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Jon Heyman tweets* that the Rangers have joined the White Sox and Angels as teams who have made inquiries about Prince Fielder.

How on Earth the Rangers could possibly justify taking on Prince Fielder’s salary obligations is beyond me.  There was enough beefing about Cliff Lee and he makes pennies compared to Fielder, who is owed nearly $4 million for the remainder of this year and is arbitration-eligible for 2011 and will get way into eight figures.  Rival executives — who are indirectly picking up the Rangers’ tab — fumed when Lee was traded. They’d probably storm Bud Selig’s office if Fielder went to Texas.

The Angels part of that doesn’t make a ton of sense either. For starters, the Angels don’t have the prospects to give up for him. Moreover, they’d run into roster problems next season as Kendry Morales is coming back and, in all likelihood, Bobby Abreu will be the everyday DH. And Fielder doesn’t want to DH in 2011 anyway. Other than that, totally spiffy.

*I’m only aware Heyman tweeted that second hand — and I can’t even read the link — because for some reason Heyman has decided to block me from following him on Twitter. 36,000 followers, but I’m not allowed. I emailed to ask him why he did it, but it’s been over 48 hours now and he hasn’t responded.

Perhaps he did it because he’s tired of me noting that he has a habit of talking up strange trade and signing rumors of Scott Boras clients to bidding/division rivals like, say, the Rangers and the Angels.  But that’s just me having fun with him. I mean, he’d never, ever really do that, right?

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.

*

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.