Update 5:25 PM: The Yankees’ Twitter confirmed the Gray trade, which isn’t a three-way deal after all. They acquired Shed Long and a Competitive Balance Round A pick from the Reds in exchange for Sonny Gray and Reiver Sanmartin. Then they turned around flipped Long to the Mariners for outfielder Josh Stowers.
Update 4:45 PM: It’s apparently three-way deal, as Jeff Passan reports that the Yankees have traded Shed Long to the Mariners in exchange for Josh Stowers. Ranked as the Mariners’ number 10 prospect per MLB Pipeline, Stowers is a center fielder who was selected in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft. Here’s an excerpt from their scouting report:
Stowers took off once he smoothed out his right-handed stroke and took a more direct path to the ball. He’s at his best when he tries to hit line drives to all fields, and while he isn’t a power hitter, he has enough pop to produce 12-15 homers per year as a pro. Stowers has an extremely patient approach and a knack for stealing bases.
Scouts give Stowers solid-to-plus grades for his speed, yet there’s mixed opinion on whether he can stick in center field at the next level. It’s essential that he does so to profile as a regular, because he doesn’t have the power to profile on a corner. Stowers’ below-average arm will push him to left field if he can’t stay in center.
We’ll have more as this continues to unfold.
Update 4:21 PM: According to Jeff Passan, the Yankees reached a deal with the Reds for Sonny Gray. Infield prospect Shed Long will indeed be heading to New York, while Reiver Sanmartin goes to Cincinnati, notes C. Trent Rosencrans. Ken Rosenthal noted that Gray agreed to an extension. We’ll have more to come shortly.
1/21/19: On Saturday, Jon Heyman broke the news that the Yankees were finalizing a deal to send Sonny Gray to the Reds. The Bombers were expected to receive infield prospect Shed Long in the trade, along with a draft pick, and possibly a lesser prospect. After three months of hearing Brian Cashman talk about how he wanted to move Gray, it was finally going to happen. Right? Well, maybe not.
We were hit with radio silence after that, before Heyman provided us with another update on Sunday morning: The Reds were trying to extend Gray before the deal was completed. This, of course, makes sense from Cincinnati’s point of view. They’d like to keep the right-hander around longer than just this year. It might even be something Gray is open to, since his pitching coach from his days at Vanderbilt is with the Reds. On the other hand, Gray is coming off of a down year, and could boost his value considerably if he is able to right the ship this season. If that is the case, it might be better for him to wait and see what he could get as a free agent next year.
So, we’ve hit a potential snag. The Yankees and Reds have until the end of today to work out this trade or the deal is dead. (It’s unclear if the deadline is 5 PM today or midnight.) If the Reds aren’t able to get Gray to agree to an extension, then the Yankees will have to go back to the drawing board. According to Mark Feinsand, the Bombers did have deals in place with other teams on Friday, so they could pick those conversations up where they left off. They could also decide to just keep him.
It’s kind of amazing how long the Gray saga has dragged out. On the plus side, we should hear definitively whether the deal with the Reds is dead sometime today. If it isn’t, great—we were excited about Shed Long. If it is, then the waiting game starts again.