Colin Cowherd: “Robinson Cano plays a lot harder in those [WBC] games than he does for the Yankees”

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That’s quoted from Andrew Marchand’s column taking issue with Cowherd. Who, by the way, is also paid by ESPN, so it’s a rare and interesting case of ESPN-on-ESPN criticism. In this case completely warranted.

Cano plays 160 games a year. When he was younger I seem to remember an instance in which Joe Torre benched him for dogging it once, but I can’t recall a single instance since then. The guy plays hard. The guy plays well. To suggest otherwise like Cowherd is here is indicative of some combination of baseball ignorance, a misunderstanding of the differences between the WBC and major league baseball and/or casual racism, the kind of which always seems to find black or Latin players to be slackers at some point or another.

But then again, it’s Colin Cowherd we’re talking about here, so whatever it is, it’s calculated to get people talking about Colin Cowherd. In which case, well played, dude. As if that sort of thing is supposed to justify your stupidity.

 

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

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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.

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.