Report: Orioles place ex-closer Mike Gonzalez on waivers

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They’re revocable waivers, so it’s far from a given that Mike Gonzalez is on the move. Nonetheless, one wonders if the Orioles would simply let him go if he’s claimed.
Gonzalez was given a two-year, $12 million contract last winter to step in as the Orioles’ closer. However, he went on to struggle in spring training and then blow two of his first three save chances before landing on the DL with a shoulder injury. He missed nearly 3 1/2 months.
Since returning in late July, Gonzalez has allowed two runs and six hits over nine innings. He’s struck out five and walked three. His fastball velocity, which was down in March and April, is back in its usual 91-94 mph range.
So, it certainly seems now that Gonzalez is back to being a valuable reliever. Still, if the Orioles could get out from the approx. $1.7 million he’s owed over the rest of this year and the $6 million he’s make next year, they might be willing to let him go for nothing.
The Yankees and Red Sox are among the teams that could potentially be willing to take on that kind of obligation for a setup man. Though if the Red Sox went that route, it’d seem to rule out any chance they’d have of escaping a luxury-tax payment at season’s end.

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.