The Cincinnati Reds have acquired right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray from the New York Yankees. Jeff Passan was the first to report that the deal was done. He also reported that Shed Long would be going to the Yankees in the deal. There is no word, yet, if the rumored draft pick is going with him.
Sonny Gray has been traded to the Cincinnati Reds, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 21, 2019
Ken Rosenthal just came out with the details for the contract.
Gray extension with #Reds complete, per source. Three years, $30.5M, covering 2020-22. Club option for ‘23 at $12M. All salaries can grow based on numerous escalators. Plus $500K of innings pitched bonuses each year.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) January 21, 2019
Updated at 4:28pm
There is more to the trade than what was initially reported. The Reds will be sending along their competitive balance 1st round draft pick. That will fall in the #36-38 spot in the draft. The Reds will also be receiving left-handed pitcher Reiver Sanmartin from the New York Yankees.
The Yankees immediately sent Long to the Mariners for outfield prospect Josh Stowers, the 54 overall draft pick in 2018.
From Baseball-Reference.com, Gray’s career statistics in the American League with Oakland and the Yankees are a 59-52 win-loss record with a 3.66 earned run average. His best season was 2015, 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA for Oakland, and third-place finisher for the AL Cy Young Award.
The right-hander who finished third in the American League Cy Young Award voting in 2015 while pitching for Oakland was on the market primarily because of this Home-Away pitching split. In Yankee Stadium, he allowed an opposing .318 batting average, .406 on-base percentage, .527 slugging percentage and .932 OPS. On the road, the numbers were .226/.295/.320/.614. Two different pitchers, really.
A Sonny Gray deal has been rumored for weeks. The Yankees went into let’s-make-a-deal mode late this week when they announced that right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino had agreed to a contract. To get Ottavino onto the 40-man roster, someone else had to go. Clearly, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman decided that player would be Gray, and set out to try to get some return instead of just releasing him to the market.
For the past two days, one of the primary names mentioned that the Yankees sought was minor league second baseman Shed Long. He’s the number eight-ranked prospect in the Reds minor league system, according to RedsMinorLeagues.com. His career minor-league numbers: .272 batting average, .353 OBP, .435 slugging and .788 OPS.
Sonny Gray will join Wood, Roark, Luis Castillo and Anthony DeSclafani in the rotation. This is an improvement over the 2018 starting five. If those five open the season in the rotation, that means Tyler Mahle, Cody Reed, Michael Lorenzen, Amir Garrett, Sal Romano and Robert Stephenson won’t be. Lorenzen and Garrett will likely remain in the bullpen. The rest will likely open the season in Louisville or elsewhere.
Keep in mind that for the last two years, multiple Reds pitchers have opened the season on the disabled list. This depth of talent will certainly help the team avoid a horrific start to the season if the injury bug sweeps through the team for the third consecutive spring.
What does this mean moving forward for the Reds?
Does all of this mean that the Reds actually did “#getthepitching”? We’ll see. It would have been nice to see an “ace” added like Dallas Keuchel or Corey Kluber. Both are still technically possibilities, and the addition of Gray might make it easier to land Kluber.
With the addition of Gray’s contract, the Reds are now at $120M in payroll. Is this what the team leadership meant when saying the payroll would be the highest ever in 2019? Or is there more left to sign a centerfielder like A.J. Pollack or a pitcher like Keuchel?
What do you think? Was surrendering Long too much? Or is Gray going to revert to previous form and provide the Reds with a standout starter over the next few years.