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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: YANKS PICK UP BRANDON DRURY FOR 3B, D-BACKS LAND STEVEN SOUZA IN SPRING BLOCKBUSTER

The New York Yankees have seemingly been connected to Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Brandon Drury going back to last summer and they finally got their man late Tuesday via a three-team deal that also included the Tampa Bay Rays.  The other big name in the deal is Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. who becomes the latest talented player to be dealt away by Tampa Bay which has earned the wrath of Kevin Kiermaier and other alumni from the team.  Let's break it all down by a player:

Brandon Drury:  The Yankees clearly made this move for Drury to fill third base and thus give top prospect Miguel Andujar more time to develop.  It also removed the possibility of the Yanks beginning 2018 with two rookies on the left side in Andujar and shortstop Gleybar Torres.  As far as Drury is concerned, the 25-year-old batted .267 with 13 home runs in jusy 480 at-bats and now he gets to stay in a prime hitter's park in moving to Yankee Stadium.  While Drury doesn't walk much, his 21.5 K/9 was decent enough but his average doesn't figure to help.  Overall, this is an AL-only starting play and a backup option in mixed leagues.

Steven Souza Jr.:  Souza's move from Tampa Bay to Arizona is certainly a ballpark improvement but with the humidor being added to Chase Field this season, it may not result in the total spike offensively one would think.  Regardless, Souza had a tremendous 2017 where he slugged a career-best 30 home runs, stole 16 bases, and batted just .239.  The 30/16 power/speed combo stands out big-time here and that keeps Souza as a top OF 3 options.  He can't be graded any higher due to the fact his average is an annual problem due to a K/9 rate that is always very high.  Last season was no different in the latter category as Souza's 29.0 K/9 rate was nasty and that is why the average will remain an issue.

Meanwhile, the Rays get two prospects in second baseman Nick Solak and lefty Anthony Banda as they try and continue their rebuild.


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