Dodgers payroll to be unaffected during the MLB takeover

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We need a name for this thing. The Bud Protectorate?  Something Oliver Cromwell-ish seems to fit.  I’ll think about it.

Anyway, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has been told that his payroll will be unaffected while MLB runs the Dodgers and that things will be business as usual.  Which makes sense given that there are set commitments and sunk costs and stuff.

The real question will be what happens if the Dodgers contend and there is a competitive argument for increasing payroll in some way sometime this summer.  Major League Baseball allowed the Rangers to take on Cliff Lee last year, but at least then there was a new owner in the Greenberg/Ryan group waiting to step in and pay those expanded costs back to MLB.  It could still be a while for someone new to come on the scene in L.A.

In any event, Gurnick reports that Colletti has been contacted by two other GMs who have been through this before — Omar Minaya and Jon Daniels — who have given him encouragement and advice. Note to Ned: listen more to Jon on this one.  Trust me.

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.