Update: Dirk Hayhurst signs with the Rays

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UPDATE:  It’s official: Hayhurst has signed a minor league deal with the Rays.  We know this from a news release. We know it more colorfully from Hayhurt’s own tweet:

Why hello there, Tampa fans. My name is Dirk. My hobbies include writing, speaking, pretending to be a giant firebreathing giraffe/moose.

Oh, Fortuna, please let him make the team.

Thursday, 2:06 PM: Hurm. Rob’s tweet was taken down. Perchance this was premature exuberance.  Here’s hoping the best for Dirk regardless.

Thursday, 1:39 PMRob Neyer reports — and last night I’m pretty sure the man himself hinted — that Dirk Hayhurst of “Bullpen Gospels” fame is going to sign with the Rays. I’m hoping Hayhurst does well in Tampa Bay, makes the team and sticks in The Show for a while, because he’s an awesome guy.

But really, this may be more notable for its literary implications than anything else.  Hayhurst no doubt has another book in him. Friend of HBT Jonah Keri has a book about the Rays coming out very, very soon.  How awesome would it be if Hayhurst learns all kinds of neat things about the Rays from the inside and subsequently writes his own book about them, totally debunking what Jonah writes?  It would be the most awesome baseball nerd fight of all time.  I hereby proclaim HardballTalk as neutral territory where Dirk and Jonah can argue about it all.

Or maybe not.  Either way, good look Garfoose.

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.