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Jerry DiPoto really regrets trading Chris Taylor

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In June last year, the Mariners made what seemed at the time to be a minor trade: they sent infielder Chris Taylor to the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Zach Lee. Lee disappointed in his 14 starts at Triple-A Tacoma with the Mariners and spent this past season with the Padres. Meanwhile, Taylor has gone on to become a star, putting up outstanding regular season numbers and has helped power the Dodgers into the World Series.

Taylor, 27, hit .240/.296/.296 in 86 games across parts of three seasons with the Mariners. This season with the Dodgers, he hit .288/.354/.496 with 21 home runs, 72 RBI, 85 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 568 PA. In the postseason, he has hit safely in eight of 10 games while mashing three homers and drawing 10 walks in 48 trips to the dish. Taylor has also provided value with versatility, playing second base, third base, and shortstop as well as left and center field.

Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto has been watching Taylor excel this October and it stings. He regrets trading Taylor a lot, Matt Calkins of the Seattle Times reports. DiPoto said, “It’s clearly the worst deal I’ve ever made. And it resonates every time he hits a home run.” He added, “I whiffed. There’s no other way to categorize it. He’s young, he was under club control — that was one I wish I could undo.”

As Calkins notes, predicting Taylor’s breakout would have been very difficult. He didn’t become the hitter he is now until meeting Craig Wallenbrock, which happened after the trade. Wallenbrock made mechanical changes to Taylor’s swing and the rest, as they say, is history.

Taylor will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2018 season and can become a free agent after the 2021 season. The Dodgers are very thankful that DiPoto gave up so quickly on Taylor, that’s for sure.

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

Tampa Bay Rays
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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.