Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reported earlier today that the Mets have not yet really gotten into filling their managerial vacancy yet. Which makes sense, because they haven’t formally announced their new GM yet, and you have to assume Sandy Alderson will drive that train. Rubin nonetheless listed a handful of “logical candidates” for the job, including John Gibbons, Chip Hale, Clint Hurdle, Lee Mazzilli, Bob Melvin and Ken Oberkfell. If Alderson stays true to form and wants, for lack of a better term, a company man in the dugout, those are all logical choices.
Except you can take Gibbons out of the mix. Andy Martino of the Daily News just tweeted that Gibbons will not interview for the job. It’s unclear whether the Mets just aren’t interested in talking to him or if Gibbons has taken himself out of the running. Which is what he did in Pittsburgh recently.
Martino mentions a new name, though: Pete Mackanin, current Phillies bench coach. Mackanin has had a couple of stints as an interim manager but has never gotten a full time gig. His presence on a Mets short list might give Phillies fans some indigestion. They’re already not happy that the Mets have made a good choice for a GM, so they might just go bonkers if they poach their own Little Cholly from them.
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.