Report: Angels re-sign Abreu to two-year deal

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Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have re-signed Bobby Abreu to a two-year contract with a team option for 2012.
No word yet on the money involved, but Abreu said that he’s “very happy to sign this contract” after settling for a one-year deal worth just $5 million in guaranteed money as a free agent last offseason.
What’s interesting about Abreu getting a multi-year contract now is that his production this season was basically the same as it’s been every season. He hit .293/.390/.435 with 15 homers, 30 steals, 103 RBIs, and 96 runs in 152 games for the Angels compared to .296/.371/.471 with 20 homers, 22 steals, 100 RBIs, and 100 runs in 156 games during his final season in New York.
There’s no real difference between those two seasons, and if anything Abreu was slightly worse this year because of a drop in power. Plus, now he’s 35 years old instead of 34. So why was he only worth a one-year deal for modest money last season, yet is now worth a two-year deal that will almost surely pay more annually? Perception. Abreu was viewed as merely a cog in the Yankees’ machine, whereas this season he’s been given a ton of credit for being a driving force behind the Angels’ improved offense.
We’ll have more analysis of the Abreu signing once the financial details are revealed.

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.