Dusty Baker wants players to start fighting and stop cursing

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Dusty Baker is a tough guy to get a handle on.

Yesterday the Reds manager dove head-first into the Johnny Cueto-Matt Garza feud by saying that he thinks players should settle disputes by locking themselves in a room and fighting until “somebody hits the ground.”

Then later in the same afternoon he publicly criticized his team’s best player, Joey Votto, for using curse words after striking out. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes:

Baker wasn’t happy with Votto’s outburts.

“I understand (his frustration),” Baker said. “I have a son that idolizes him. Sometimes an open display of displeasure is not a good example, whether you come through or not later. Joey is the face of baseball. I’d like to see him temper it a little bit.”

So swearing is a no-no because “I have a son that idolizes him” and it’s “not a good example” but suggesting that two baseball players go into a room and beat each other up to settle an on-field issue is a great idea. I’m sure there’s some “old-school” reasoning for why naughty words are terrible and violence is wonderful, but the juxtaposition within the same afternoon sure seems odd.

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.