Grants Pass’ Drury traded to Yankees
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Diamondbacks sent former Grants Pass baseball standout Brandon Drury, an infielder, to the New York Yankees and received outfielder Steven Souza Jr. from the Tampa Bay Rays in a three-team trade Tuesday that included five players plus two to be named later.
The deal was announced one day after former Diamondbacks slugger J.D. Martinez agreed to a $110 million, five-year contract with Boston, pending a physical. Arizona has moved quickly to fill that hole in the outfield, signing speedy Jarrod Dyson to a $7.5 million, two-year contract on Monday before trading for Souza.
Drury was a first-team all-state selection for Grants Pass in 2010. He was drafted in the 13th round by Atlanta, then was traded in 2013 to Arizona.
Souza will be the starter at one corner outfield position, with Dyson subbing at all three spots.
Drury gives the Yankees a new option at third base or second base, where New York was projected to start a pair of rookies.
Top pitching prospect Anthony Banda goes from Arizona to the Rays, who also get minor league second baseman Nick Solak from the Yankees and two players to be named from the Diamondbacks. Minor league right-hander Taylor Widener moves from New York to Arizona.
Drury played mostly second base for Arizona but came up through the minors as a third baseman and could fill that spot for the Yankees, who have top prospect Gleyber Torres penciled in at second. Another prospect, Miguel Andujar, was a leading candidate at third.
New York traded All-Star second baseman Starlin Castro to Miami this offseason in the blockbuster deal for slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Chase Headley was sent to San Diego in a cost-cutting swap, and fellow third baseman Todd Frazier signed with the crosstown Mets as a free agent.
The 25-year-old Drury also has experience in the corner outfield spots, but the Yankees are well stocked there.
Souza helps fill a power void in Arizona's outfield created by Martinez's departure. Martinez had 29 home runs and 65 RBIs in 62 games with Arizona last season after being acquired from Detroit, but the Diamondbacks knew it was a long shot they'd be able to afford to retain him.
Drury hit .267 with 13 home runs and 63 RBIs in 135 games for Arizona last season. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, the Yankees designated outfielder Jabari Blash for assignment.
Souza, 28, batted .239 with a career-high 30 home runs and 78 RBIs last year. He had a .351 on-base percentage and .810 OPS.
Drury was the odd man out in a crowded middle infield for Arizona. Chris Owings or Ketel Marte could shift to second from shortstop, where Nick Ahmed also is back from injury. Daniel Descalso can play all the infield positions, plus the outfield.
Drury came to Arizona from Atlanta as part of the Justin Upton trade in 2013 and worked his way up through the Diamondbacks' minor league system. He isn't eligible for arbitration until next year.
Banda, 24, made his major league debut last season, going 2-3 with a 5.96 ERA in eight appearances, four starts. The left-hander was 8-7 with a 5.39 ERA in 22 starts for Triple-A Reno last year.
The 23-year-old Solak split last season between Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, batting .297 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs.
Widener, 23, will be a non-roster invitee to Diamondbacks spring training. He was 7-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 21 starts for Class A Tampa last season and advanced to Double-A Trenton, where he was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two relief appearances. He threw the final five innings of a no-hitter against Binghamton on Sept. 8.