Dustin Ackley needs to join Justin Smoak in the minors

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Another day, another hitless game for Dustin Ackley in Seattle’s 5-2 loss to the Yankees.

Ackley is 0-for-21 in his last five games and 1-for-30 in his last seven. For the month, he’s hitting .135 in 74 at-bats. His overall average is down to .220. A demotion is most definitely warranted.

If the Mariners had someone worth replacing him with, there’s a good chance it already would have happened. Maybe they do, though. Longtime prospect Carlos Triunfel is showing signs of life while hitting .288/.329/.493 with three homers and 16 RBI in 73 at-bats for Triple-A Tacoma this month. He’s still playing shortstop most of the time, but he has started 10 games at second base this season. He doesn’t figure to be a long-term option at shortstop anyway, so taking him off the position to give him a look in the majors wouldn’t hurt.

Of course, it’s not all that likely that Triunfel is ready to succeed in the majors. Nick Franklin probably isn’t either. The more highly regarded prospect of the two, he’s batted .252/.326/.425 while splitting time evenly at second base and shortstop in 30 games since his promotion to Triple-A. It’s unlikely the Mariners would risk promoting him given that they’d have a lot more to lose by rushing him and wrecking his confidence.

But Ackley needs to go, even if it’s just for three weeks. Being a bad player on a bad team can’t be doing him much good.

Report: Diamondbacks acquire Steven Souza from Rays in part of three-team deal

Tampa Bay Rays
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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.