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Bob Costas, Al Michaels, Joe Buck and Joe Morgan are Frick Award Finalists

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Each December the Hall of Fame presents the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting. Each October they announce the finalists under consideration for the honor. Those finalists were announced yesterday.

It’s a three-year rotation, with this year’s slate consisting of national broadcasters. Next year it will honor “early voices,” from the pre-television age and in 2020, as last year, it will honor team-specific announcers. Here are the national voices under consideration:

  • Bob Costas;
  • Al Michaels;
  • Joe Buck;
  • Don Drysdale;
  • Dizzy Dean;
  • Joe Morgan;
  • Pee Wee Reese; and
  • Buddy Blattner

Full disclosure requires me to note that Costas and Michaels both work for NBC, though their broadcasting legacy and history, like that of the other nominees, extends to multiple platforms and outlets over the year.

Voting will be conducted by the 11 living Frick Award winners and four broadcast historians/columnists. The panel:Marty Brennaman, Dick Enberg, Jaime Jarrin, Tony Kubek, Denny Matthews, Tim McCarver, Jon Miller, Eric Nadel, Vin Scully, Bob Uecker and Dave Van Horne. The historians/columnists are David J. Halberstam, Barry Horn, Ted Patterson and Curt Smith.

The winner will be announced Dec. 13 at the winter meetings at Disney World.

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.