MLB Trade Rumors: The New York Yankees have traded Sonny Gray to the Cincinnati Reds for minor league second baseman Shed Long and the Reds’ competitive balance pick for 2019, which is expected to be around #37 overall. As part of the deal, Gray has agreed to a three year, $30.5 million extension for 2020-22 with a 2023 club option. In addition, lefthanded pitcher Reiver Sanmartin goes from New York to the Reds.
It was clear from the start of the offseason that the Yankees were going to move on from Sonny Gray, and there was some talk that he might even get non-tendered. Instead of non-tendering him, however, the Yankees have managed to move him, along with a fringe pitching prospect, to the Reds for a solid second base prospect and a draft pick between the first and second rounds. Not a bad capturing some value from an asset generally seen as significantly diminished.
For the Reds, the extension for Gray was reportedly a requisite condition for the deal — they wanted Gray, but at this cost in prospects, only if they could keep him past 2019 at a cost they felt was reasonable. $10 million per year from 2020-22 is much less than what Gray would have expected to command in an extension a year ago, but his struggles last year, combined with the weakening free agent market, apparently convinced Gray to jump on the guarantee and the stability of a long-term deal. The Reds have Yasiel Puig, Alex Wood and Tanner Roark as guys they have acquired this offseason with just a year to go before hitting the free agent market, but Gray, at least, gives them an addition they can bank on being around for a while.
And as a minor Rangers-related tangent, the prospect going to the Reds is former Rangers minor leaguer Reiver Sanmartin, who went to the Yankees last offseason in exchange for Ronald Herrera.
UPDATE — And because every trade has to involve the Mariners, Seattle is getting Shed Long from New York, and is sending outfielder Josh Stowers to the Yankees. Stowers is a fast center fielder who was the M’s second round pick out of Louisville in 2018.