Sonny Gray Traded From New York Yankees To Cincinnati Reds
After months of speculation and rumors, the Yankees pulled the trigger on Monday and traded righthander Sonny Gray to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Shed Long and a draft pick.
The Yankees then flipped Long to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Josh Stowers, who is the Mariners' No. 10 overall prospect. That move was first reported by ESPN's Jeff Passan,
Gray's fate was sealed earlier this offseason, when Yankees general manager Brian Cashman explicitly said he was planning to trade the pitcher after a season and a half of underwhelming performances. The Yankees acquired Gray at the 2017 trade deadline season for righthander James Kaprielian, shortstop Jorge Mateo and outfielder Dustin Fowler.
Long, who recently ranked as the Reds No. 7 prospect, will now head to Seattle as the Mariners continue their rebuild. The Yankees also received the Reds' Competitive Balance Round A pick for the 2019 draft, which is currently slated as the No. 36 overall selection in June.
With the Reds, Gray will join a revamped rotation that includes a host of youngsters like Anthony DeSclafani, Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle, as well newly acquired veterans Tanner Roark and Alex Wood. He will hope for a revival in the National League after going 15-16, 4.51 in 41 games with New York.
Gray also reportedly signed an extension with the Reds, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.
Sonny Gray, RHP
After becoming the centerpiece of the Yankees' 2017 trade deadline shopping spree, Gray was a bust in his only full season in New York. He pitched so poorly in 2018 that he was booted from the rotation and made seven of his final nine appearances with the Yankees as a reliever. Despite the unsightly results, there are reasons to believe Gray can turn it around with a change of scenery. His fastball spin ranked in the 82nd percentile among big leaguers in 2018, and his curveball spin landed in the 94th percentile. Additionally, moving to the Reds means Gray will be reunited with Derek Johnson, his pitching coach when he starred for Vanderbilt. After three seasons as the Brewers' pitching coach, Johnson joined the Reds in the same role this offseason. Gray joins a Reds rotation that has ranked 25th, 29th, 25th and 26th in ERA the last four seasons. He will be a free agent at the end of the year.
Reiver Sanmartin, LHP
Sanmartin, whom the Yankees acquired in Nov. 2017 for righthander Ronald Herrera, brings an 89-92 mph heater with hard sink, and couples it with a pair of potentially average offspeed pitches in his slider and changeup. He's got pitchability as well, and pitched at four levels—short-season Staten Island, low Class A Charleston, high Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton in 2018.
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Shed Long, 2B
Originally drafted as a catcher, Long moved to second base in his third season and saw the position switch unlock his offensive potential. He has hit at least .260 with double-digit home runs every year since moving to second base, including .261 with 12 home runs, 56 RBIs and 19 stolen bases at Double-A Pensacola last season. Long's strong hands help fuel an exceptionally quick bat despite busy mechanics, and his athleticism is noticeable in the box and on the bases. That athleticism and his average arm have helped him sharpen his defensive actions as he's moved away from his catching days, although he's still below-average at second base. Long lacks any plus tools, but he's a well-rounded, athletic middle infielder who can hit and run—a promising foundation to work from.
Josh Stowers, OF
Stowers was Seattle's second-round pick in 2018 out Louisville, and ranked as the No. 12 prospect in the short-season Northwest League as well as the No. 9 prospect in the Mariners' Top 30. He's a potentially plus hitter with average power and has a body built like former big league outfielder Marlon Byrd. He's got plus speed in the outfield that will help stay in center field, provided he learns to improve his routes and jumps. If he has to move to a corner, his below-average arm likely limits him to left field.