The Yankees have acquired INF Brandon Drury from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team deal involving the Tampa Bay Rays, the team announced.
Yankees 2B Nick Solak was traded to the Rays and RHP Taylor Widener was traded to the D-Backs as part of the deal, reports Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. OF Jabari Blash was designated for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster.
The Diamondbacks received OF Steve Souza from the Rays as well as a prospect, according to Robert Murray of FanRag Sports.
In 135 games for the Diamondbacks last season, Drury hit .267 with 13 home runs an 63 RBIs. The 25-year-old will help provide depth in the infield for the Yankees, who no longer have Starlin Castro, Todd Frazier, or Chase Headley.
Widener posted a .091 ERA across 27 starts with Single-A Tampa, while Solak hit .297 while splitting time last season between Single-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton.
In Drury, the Yankees finally landed an insurance policy for their second and third base openings.
Before fans get into a panic about Drury permanently taking over one of the roles, I wouldn't read into the move in that way. Having an experienced player to fall back on or to allow either Miguel Andujar or Gleyber Torres to be eased into starting roles always seemed like a no-brainer to me. As much as we want the rookies to excel, there is now no need to put undue pressure on them if their spring performances demonstrate they are not ready straight away.
If anyone should be concerned about playing time it is Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade as should Andujar and Torres win the starting jobs at third and second base respectively, Drury is easily the better player than Torreyes in all aspects. The move might not affect Wade as much this season, as I suggested earlier today the Yankees should only consider Wade as a full-time player IF called to New York in 2018.
Drury's inexpensiveness -- he is pre-arbitration player that made just over $550K last season -- might allow the Yankees to invest all of the reported $15 million at their disposal for a starting pitcher, should they still be interested in one.
As for the Yankees dealt away, each has promise, but Solak was blocked by a slew of infielders and Widener is likely two or three years away from being major league ready.