Wagner changes mind, agrees to join Red Sox

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Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post reports that Billy Wagner changed his mind “after heavy lobbying by the Mets” and has agreed to accept a trade to the Red Sox.
As part of the deal the Mets will receive two players to be named later and the Red Sox have agreed to decline the $8 million option on Wagner for 2010 while retaining their right to offer him arbitration. By offering him arbitration Boston would be in line for draft pick compensation should Wagner leave as a free agent.
Wagner has made just two appearances since returning from Tommy John elbow surgery and likely won’t be available to work back-to-back games, but has definitely looked capable of making an impact down the stretch and perhaps into October. Assuming that the PTBNLs aren’t significant prospects the Red Sox basically spent a few million bucks to add a potential shutdown left-hander for what will probably be at most a dozen innings. Few teams can afford that luxury, but Boston is obviously one of them.
For the Mets, parting with Wagner is a no-brainer and getting a pair of even marginal prospects in return is just a bonus. Neither side had much interest in Wagner remaining in New York next season and there was no sense in paying millions to watch him pitch for a sub-.500 team down the stretch. There was a strong argument to be made for general manager Omar Minaya simply letting the Red Sox have Wagner when they claimed him off waivers, so he absolutely deserves credit for coaxing some added value out of the situation.

Report: Yankees, Reds finalizing trade for Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray
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Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.

According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.

Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.