Carlos Zambrano ripped for apologizing to his teammates

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Because nothing is easy with Carlos Zambrano, even his apology to his teammates over his meltdown last month is controversial.

Why? Because he did it on ESPN last night.  That set off Rick Morrissey of the Sun-Times, who called the apology a “stunt” and ripped into Zambrano for not apologizing to the Cubs in person.  You should really read it all. Just beware of the rage and the flying spittle and everything, which somehow comes through the screen on this one.

Except, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, Zambrano couldn’t have possibly apologized in person yet because the Cubs won’t let Zambrano talk to his teammates until he rejoined the team, and that won’t be until he’s activated, most likely on Friday.  Zambrano said that he’s wanted to apologize since the incident happened but that the team thought he needed to go through counseling first. Which makes sense from a “don’t say you’re sorry until you know why you’re sorry” perspective.

But it’s been a month now, and he’s done with counseling. ESPN got to him and he didn’t run away.  What’s so wrong with apologizing in that situation?

I can’t see any problem.  And really, if Zambrano had made a single public appearance without apologizing, would anyone wanna bet that Morrissey wouldn’t have ripped him for not apologizing?  Not me, man. Not me.

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.