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Rick Honeycutt unlikely to come back as Dodgers pitching coach

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It’s kind of messed up that, on the eve of the Dodgers playing in an elimination World Series game, chatter about possibly coaching staff changes are filtering out of L.A., but I suppose the news and gossip doesn’t stop for anything.

This news and gossip: Dodgers longtime pitching coach, Rick Honeycutt, seems unlikely to come back for next season. Here’s Robert Murray of FanRag Sports:

There is increasing chatter that pitching coach Rick Honeycutt will not return to the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2018 season, league sources tell FanRag Sports. His contract expires at the conclusion of the season . . . It’s likely that if Honeycutt does leave, the Dodgers look for someone who is more on page with the front office in regards to analytics.

As Murray notes, Honeycutt is very popular with Clayton Kershaw and other Dodgers pitchers. He’s held the job since 2006, which covers Kershaw’s entire major league career and spans the tenure of four Dodgers managers and two ownership groups. He’s well-regarded in the game, obviously.

No coaches last forever, though, so Honeycutt may be coaching his last game for the Dodgers tonight.

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.