Great Moments in farkakte player valuation: Joe Mauer edition

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joe mauer mvp.jpgMike Silva at NY Baseball Digest:

The Twins could get a king’s ransom from the Yankees for Mauer.
Think Hughes, Joba, and Montero as cornerstones of the package. If they
are concerned about development timeline of Montero, then perhaps you
could add Posada to the deal since he only has a year left on his
contract. If the Red Sox come calling then the package could get even
better.

I love Joe Mauer. You love Joe Mauer. We all love Joe Mauer. But anyone who thinks that the bidding for Joe Mauer starts with Hughes, Joba and Montero — and quickly grows to include Jorge Posada and more if the negotiations bog down — has probably suffered serious head trauma in the past 48 hours.  It’s ridiculous to even be playing the “what would it take to get Mauer” game right now, but if you’re going to play it, at least do so sensibly. The guy has a season left on his deal, will take hundreds of millions of dollars to lock up, and he’s a catcher.  For that you give away every valuable young player you have. For starters?!

But the best part of the piece is the line in which Silva says “Mauer deserves the big stage of New York.”  Like it’s some freakin’ gift.  I’ll leave the dismantling of that statement to Jason, who is more conscious of, and more opposed to, the New York exceptionalism that has sprung up these past few years:

You know who deserves Joe Mauer?  The fine people of Minnesota.

If you ever want to tear your hear out at ridiculous Yankee commentary, go read Jason’s stuff for a reminder that even Yankees fans can be sane.

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.