The latest Reds rumors circle back to the Cincinnati Reds infatuation with Sonny Gray. But, it appears the Yankees want some highly-rated prospects.
The Reds rumors surrounding Sonny Gray have surfaced once again, but this time a few of the Yankees targets have come to light. According to a recent report by Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, both Shed Long and Tyler Stephenson appear to be very high on New York’s list should the Cincinnati Reds want to acquire Gray.
We’ve heard Gray’s name tossed about in Reds rumors since the the Yankees put the right-hander on the trade block. Earlier in the offseason, names like Scooter Gennett and Taylor Trammell were mentioned as possible targets of the Yankees.
This, of course, was ludicrous, as there was no way Cincinnati was going to trade their All-Star second baseman or their No. 2 prospect for a mediocre pitcher with only one-year remaining on his contract. Now, the structure for a possible deal appears a little more reasonable with the inclusion of names like Shed Long and Tyler Stephenson, however, I still think that’s a lot, especially if the Yankees are hoping for both of the Reds prospects.
Shed Long is a second base prospect for the Cincinnati Reds and possesses a lot of pop in his bat. Last season at Double-A Pensacola, Long .261/.353/.412 with 12 home runs and 56 RBIs. The No. 7 ranked prospect in the Reds farm system was a former catcher and is now exclusively a second baseman.
Speaking of catchers, Tyler Stephenson is the Reds No. 6 prospect and the No. 10 ranked catching prospect in all of Major League Baseball. The No. 11 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft has had some issues staying healthy since being drafted, but he shows above-average power with the bat and solid defensive work behind the plate.
Sonny Gray could be a nice addition to the Cincinnati Reds starting rotation, but I don’t know that he’s worth giving up one of your Top 10 prospects, and I can unequivocally guarantee he’s not worth giving up two of your Top 10 prospects.
The Yankees right-hander recently settled for a $7.5M salary for the 2019 season. That’s a bit lower than the $9M-plus estimates earlier this offseason, so in terms of salary, the Reds should have no problem fitting Gray into their budget.
Gray, if acquired, would likely be slotted as the No. 3 or No. 4 starter in the Reds rotation. His history with Derek Johnson, the new Cincinnati Reds pitching coach, provides the notion that Gray could return to his 2015 form when he was an All-Star and came in third in Cy Young voting. Stay tuned Reds fans, as this story seems to be ever changing.