Potent quotables: Lowell sums up loss to Yanks

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“I think that it was plain and simple that we got our asses kicked pretty good.”



– Mike Lowell just about sums up
the 20-11 trouncing the Red Sox experienced at the hand of the Yankees
on Friday night. The Bombers have now won five straight over their
division rivals and sit 7 1/2 games ahead in the American League East.




“He called me in the office, I was in the lineup and he just went over
the whole waiver thing with me because I guess a lot of people in the
media were speculating a lot of different things and he wanted to clear
that up. So I asked him after that, well, if you pull
me back and you’re keeping me from going to a contending team, what’s
my future? And basically I got a maybe, maybe not. And that’s basically
not much of a future.”




– Gary Sheffield explains a conversation he had with general manager Omar Minaya on Thursday. The 40-year-old outfielder denies asking for a contract extension, as reported in various media outlets.



“To me, an ace is not something that floats. It’s career
numbers stuff, to have that dominating pitcher year in and year out.
It’s an overused term.”




– Despite a 2.94 ERA since July, Randy Wolf deflects any talk about him as the staff ace.
He may never be an ace, but he’d be a decent cleanup hitter for the
Dodgers right now. After knocking in three runs with a homer, double
and single against the Diamondbacks on Sunday, Wolf drove in the only
two runs of Friday’s victory over the Cubs.




“I didn’t know I was like that. That would be a first for me.”



– Derek Jeter responds to comments made by Hall of Famer Jim Rice earlier this week.

Yankees trade Sonny Gray to the Reds

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The deal was much talked about all weekend and now the deal is done: The Cincinnati Reds gave acquired starter Sonny Gray and lefty Reiver Sanmartin from the Yankees in exchange for second base prospect Shed Long and a 2019 competitive balance pick.

The key to making the deal happen: Gray agreeing to a a three-year, $30.5 million contract extension. The Reds will likewise hold a $12 million club option for 2023. The deal had been struck and a window granted through close of business today to get Gray to agree to the extension and, obviously, he has.

The Reds will get a pitcher coming off of a bad season in which he posted a disappointing 4.90 ERA in 23 starts and seven relief appearances. He was hammered particularly hard in Yankee Stadium but pitched better on the road. Great American Ballpark is not a great pitcher’s park itself but any change of scenery would be nice for Gray, who had become much unwanted and unloved in New York. In Cincinnati he has the assurance of a spot in the rotation and, even better for him, he will be reunited with his college pitching coach, Derek Johnson, who joined new manager David Bell’s Reds staff earlier this offseason. If he bounces back even a little bit, the Reds will have a useful starter at a below market price for four years. If he doesn’t, well, they haven’t exactly gone bankrupt taking the chance.

The Reds will also get Reiver Sanmartin, 22, who started in the Rangers system before being traded to the Yankees. He’s a soft-tosser who figures to be a reliever if he makes the big leagues. He played at four different levels last season, with one game at Double-A and the rest below that, posting a composite 2.80 ERA in 10 starts and 13 overall appearances while striking out 7.8 batters per nine.

The Yankees will get Shed Long, who is ranked as the Reds’ seventh best prospect. The 23-year old second baseman hit .261/.353/.412 at Double-A in 2018 and has hit very close to that overall line for his entire six-year minor league career. He strikes out a bit and may not stick at second base long term, shifting to a corner outfield slot perhaps, but he’s a legitimate prospect.

The Reds get another starter with some upside. The Yankees get rid of a problem and gain a prospect and a draft pick. Sonny Gray gets some job and financial security at a time when it is not at all clear what his future holds. Not a bad baseball trade.

UPDATE: Welp, the Yankees don’t have a prospect anymore. They just traded long to the Mariners for outfielder Josh Stowers. Stowers was a second-round pick in last year’s draft. He’s 21 and batted .260/.380/.410 with five homers and 20 steals over 58 games in Short-Season ball in 2018. He’s ranked by MLB.com as the Mariners’ No. 10 prospect, but now he’s New York bound.