Gordon Edes, late of Yahoo! late of the Boston Globe and now writing for ESPN Boston doesn’t like Red Sox’ recent moves very much. He notes that the Sox don’t usually sign free agent pitchers to big deals. He outlines Lackey’s health history, making what seems like a more aggressive case for Lackey as an injury risk than I’ve seen from anyone else.
Edes’ takeaways: (a) the Red Sox have money to burn and feel that Lackey’s worth the risk; (b) the Sox were kind of improvising here, having not initially planned to go after Lackey but calling the audible once the Bay negotiations hit an impasse; and (c) this could all be a long play to cover for the absence of Josh Beckett, who Edes thinks the Sox may allow to walk next year.
Finally, Edes doesn’t like the Cameron signing. While Buster Olney characterizes it and a potential Adrian Beltre signing as the Sox building “the second best pitching and defense team after the Mariners,” Edes simply worries about whether or not there will be enough pop in the Sox’ lineup. It’s a legitimate concern.
This doesn’t happen often, but the Sox’ moves yesterday were largely overshadowed by what went down in Lee-Halladay land. Are these moves as unpopular with Red Sox fans as they appear to be with Edes? Edes usually seems to be sensible about such things, but I feel like he’s being overly harsh here.
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.