The Orioles are bidding for Matt Holliday? Really?

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Rosenthal and Morosi report that Baltimore has “jumped into the bidding” for Matt Holliday. They don’t say exactly what that means — have they made an offer? Have they asked for a meeting? Are they merely Facebook friends? — and while they make some decent arguments as to why Holliday might make sense in Baltimore, they don’t provide any indication that Holliday is taking them seriously.

Could this be something that was just thrown out there by Boras in an attempt to juice negotiations with the Cardinals? The FOX guys are usually more discerning than that so I doubt it, but the Orioles alleged interest doesn’t really fit in with the plan Andy MacPhail has been implementing of late. Sure, they signed two free agents yesterday, but those aren’t king-sized deals like the kind Holliday would command.

I suppose we’ll know soon enough how serious the Orioles’ interest is, but in the meantime I can’t help but think that their “jump” into the bidding is merely an effort to stoke some excitement in the fan base as opposed to seriously wanting to lay out $100 million or whatever it would take to actually bring him to Baltimore.

UPDATE: And Adrian Gonzalez too?  Really, is Baltimore actually looking to do something huge?

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.