After entering priesthood, Grant Desme doesn't regret giving up baseball

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A’s prospect Grant Desme made headlines back in January for abruptly quitting baseball to join the priesthood and when Mark Emmons of the San Jose Mercury News caught up with him earlier this week the 24-year-old former outfielder said: “I didn’t even realize it was Opening Day.”

“I know it’s hard for some people to understand, and I don’t think there’s any perfect way to explain it because it’s such a personal choice,” he said. “All I can say is that when God speaks to you, it gets your attention.” As he became emotional while speaking to a San Jose Catholic professional group Thursday about his decision, one thing was clear: He doesn’t miss baseball. …



Desme says he was conflicted when he accepted the St. Michael’s invitation. “I saw everything that I might do in baseball pass before my eyes,” he said. But he came to view his baseball success as a final test–this is what you will be giving up. It wasn’t the only test. “Once you start considering the priesthood, the most beautiful Catholic women start showing up,” Desme said. “That made my decision interesting.”

It never occurred to me that someone could join the priesthood for the chicks, but I’m never one to rule out any options. Anyway, instead of kicking off his season at Triple-A, here’s what Desme is up to:

St. Michael’s is a community of 70 members who live like monks. The process of becoming an ordained priest in the order takes about 10 years. When he arrives, Desme will give up all the trappings of modern life. He won’t be allowed to use a cell phone or the Internet, watch television, listen to the radio, read a newspaper or go home during the first two years.



He will join the other abbey members as they spend about three hours a day singing their prayers in Gregorian chant. “I’m just trying to learn how to read music now,” said Desme, conceding he doesn’t have much of a singing voice.

The whole article is definitely worth reading, particularly if you’re like me and don’t really understand (or at least can’t comprehend) Desme’s decision.

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.