Rockies call up Kevin Kouzmanoff after yesterday’s trade

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Colorado traded for Kevin Kouzmanoff yesterday and the initial reports had the Rockies assigning the veteran third baseman to Triple-A, where the A’s kept him stashed for the past several months, but less than 24 hours later they’ve decided to call him up.

Kouzmanoff will get a chance to play regularly at third base, where Ian Stewart is seemingly no longer in the Rockies’ plans. Stewart has been up and down between the minors and majors all season and is currently sidelined by a wrist injury at Triple-A.

Every indication is that the player to be named later going to Oakland for Kouzmanoff is a marginal prospect, so Colorado gets an inexpensive six-week look at him to determine if he’s a worthwhile option for 2012.

Even if Kouzmanoff impresses the Rockies they seem unlikely to retain him without negotiating a lower salary than the $5 million or so he’d be in line for via arbitration. Coors Field should aid his turnaround, but Kouzmanoff hit just .242 with a .666 OPS in 189 games for the A’s.

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.