Jerome Williams got his wish

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Jerome Williams (or more accurately, mostly his agent) spent the past week talking about how he hoped to be non-tendered by the Angels because he believed other teams would be willing to give him a full-time rotation spot. And he got his wish last night, as they cut him loose rather than keeping the 32-year-old right-hander around for approximately $4 million via arbitration.

Here’s what agent Larry O’Brien told Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times after the move:

Honestly, this could be a blessing in disguise. I believe there are a number of teams that will give him the chance to make 32 starts. Jerome is a horse. He can throw 250 innings. I think he’s going to turn some heads. We’ll find a team that’s going to give Jerome the ball every five days.

Worth noting: Williams has never, in his entire big-league career, started more than 25 games or thrown more than 170 innings in a season.

O’Brien was extremely outspoken in the days leading up to the Angels’ decision, basically saying Williams deserved better than they were going to give him. Of course, he also told various reporters that he’d be shocked if they non-tendered Williams and that’s exactly what they ended up doing. So … mission accomplished. Now we’ll see if he was right about Williams’ potential free agent market.

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.