Look for A’s to try new acquisition Scott Sizemore at third base

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The Tigers likely would have been more patient with Scott Sizemore had he possessed a better glove at second base.  His track record suggests that he’s going to hit — he’s batting .315/.392/.487 in 170 career games in Triple-A — but his glove at second base has always been shaky and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change.

The A’s highly value defense these days, as evidenced by their decision to spend $6 million to bring back Mark Ellis to play second, so Sizemore may struggle to make inroads at his usual position.  The hot corner, though, is ripe for the picking, and Sizemore does have a bit of experience there: he made 11 starts there in Triple-A last year and four more with the Tigers.

Besides, the A’s already have an heir apparent at second base: Jemile Weeks is batting .322/.412/.454 while playing the position exclusively at Triple-A Sacramento this year.   They lack a third baseman of the future (though they did give a 16-year-old named Renato Nunez a big bonus last year).  Longtime prospect Adrian Cardenas has seen some time there in Triple-A this year, but he’s mostly played the outfield and served as a DH.

Sizemore isn’t necessarily the answer either, but he’s worth a shot with the way that Kevin Kouzmanoff and Andy LaRoche have played this year.  I still expect him to turn into a nice .280 hitter with 30-double power. He’ll take over as Sacramento’s third baseman for now, and if he
adjusts well, he could be back in the majors in a couple of weeks.

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.