Miami Marlins owner Jeffery Loria
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There is a mystery bidder for the Marlins

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You’ve probably heard the “Mystery Team” thing around free agent and trade deadline time. It was a term invented by Jon Heyman at the 2010 Winter Meetings in Florida. That’s when he published a rumor in Sports Illustrated that then-free agent Cliff Lee was being courted by “the Texas Rangers, New York Yankees and a third mystery team.” He added — and I am not making this up — that “the mystery team remains a mystery and is also seen as a long shot.”

That was initially seen as a joke — and by some as Heyman trying to sound plugged in when he didn’t know anything — but he showed all of them when, the very next day, Cliff Lee signed with the Phillies who were, in fact, the “Mystery Team.”  With that a meme was born, and Heyman has owned it since then, mostly ironically, but certainly as a part of his personal brand. I’ve long been critical of Heyman for a lot of things, but the “mystery team” thing is kind of fun, actually. Takes some of the seriousness out of all of this.

Heyman may be extending his brand from free agents and trade targets to owners now. He doesn’t use the phrase “mystery bidder” in his latest report today about a potential new suitor for the Miami Marlins, but he really should have:

While people involved with sale talks involving the Marlins continue to suggest that one of the two leading groups – the Derek Jeter group and the Tagg Romney-Tom Glavine group – are “most likely” to win the team through negotiation, sources suggest that at least one other viable prospect owner has entered the picture . . . The third viable owner is not known at this time.

Heyman says that, according to Rob Manfred, a new Marlins owner could be in place by the end of next month. He’s also spending some time in there beating back rumors that the Marlins’ books are a mess, but there are few details. Based on well-reported stuff from places like the Miami New Times over the years, I sort of doubt those books look great, but what do I know?

Anyway, good job on the brand extension, Jon, and good luck to whoever is going up against Jeter and Glavine. Most people in competition with those two didn’t get the best of them.

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.