Did A-Rod throw his cousin under the financial bus?

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Remember back in the spring how Alex Rodriguez said that it was his cousin, Yuri Sucart, who was the one that supplied him with his PEDs? Well, he’s had a worse go of it since then than A-Rod has:

Banks
began foreclosure proceedings on Yuri Sucart’s Miami home and three
South Florida rental properties in the months after Rodriguez’s Feb. 17
news conference . . . US Bank initiated foreclosure proceedings on
Sucart’s two-bedroom home on Aug. 12 . . . Deutsche Bank
began foreclosure proceedings on April 3 on a four-bedroom apartment
Sucart purchased in February of 2005. Wachovia Mortgage initiated
foreclosure proceedings against two other rental properties owned by
Sucart and his wife in July.

The Daily News article does
its best to paint A-Rod as responsible for all of this, essentially
saying that he treated Sucart like a drug mule and then cast him aside
when the drug revelations hit.  That whole narrative is broken,
however, by a quote buried sixteen paragraphs into the story: “A friend
of A-Rod’s who spoke on condition of anonymity says Sucart
still works for the Yankee superstar. ‘Alex takes care of his family,’
the friend says.”

It’s entirely possible that, like any other number of property owners
who are upside down on their mortgage in depressed markets like South
Florida, Sucart and/or Rodriguez made the judgment that it’s preferable to simply walk away and let the bank have property that is worth way less than its outstanding indebtedness rather than continue to throw good money after bad.
Such a strategy comes with its own set of moral and ethical issues, of course, but
it’s something that’s done all the time, and is even counseled by a lot
of legitimate financial advisers under such circumstances.

Moreover, such a strategy fits into the “Alex takes care of his family” narrative
in ways that the “A-Rod is a heartless man who threw his cousin under
the bus” does not. But since the Daily News has spent the past several
years demonizing every PED-connected player in baseball, there’s no way
that they’d ever take that angle.

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.