Yankee greed costs Carter his best shot

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For no other reason than to tweak their two biggest rivals, the Yankees stepped in Thursday and claimed Boston’s Chris Carter off waivers, preventing him from immediately becoming a Met as a player to be named in the Billy Wagner deal.
In so doing, they kept the Mets from adding a legitimate bat to their depleted lineup for the final five weeks. They’re also forcing the Red Sox to keep Carter on the 40-man roster for now, which will be a minor annoyance as they try to set up their September roster.
So, it’s mission accomplished for Brian Cashman and company. And caught in the crossfire is Carter, a soon-to-be 27-year-old first baseman-outfielder who probably won’t ever have another chance to establish himself like he would have received as a Met next month. The Stanford prospect is a career .304/.378/.507 hitter in 2,745 minor league at-bats, but he’s not a true slugger and he’s quite limited defensively. The Mets will have him next year, but there will likely be plenty of alternatives at first base and in left field by then. This was Carter’s chance, and it’s not going to happen for him simply because the Yankees saw some miniscule advantage for themselves.

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.