Rangers, Red Sox to move on with Lowell deal off

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The Mike Lowell-for-Max Ramirez deal is off, with the Rangers canceling the trade after a physical determined Boston’s third baseman would need surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament.
The surgery has a recovery timetable of 6-8 weeks, so Lowell should be fine for the start of spring training. Still, the Rangers didn’t want to take the chance, even with the Red Sox set to pay $9 million of the $12 million that Lowell was owed.
The Rangers could now turn back to Jermaine Dye or Vladimir Guerrero in their pursuit of a right-handed hitter. Both have more offensive upside than Lowell, though a healthy Lowell would have a lot more to offer if needed in the field.
The Red Sox will be able to search for a better deal in spring training. Ramirez could have proven useful, but he wasn’t in Boston’s immediate plans for 2010. If Lowell shows he’s healthy in March, perhaps another team will be willing to pick up more than $3 million of what he’s owed.

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.