“Melvin: smooth. Hale: cautious. Backman: nervous. Collins: intense.”

18 Comments

This means very little in the grand scheme of things, but I think it’s great fun: Andy Martino of the Daily News, who is down at the GM meetings, tweeted a quick thumbnail assessment of the demeanor of each Mets managerial candidate the moment they came out of their second interviews with Alderson and company:

One word subjective description of each post-interview demeanor–Melvin: smooth. Hale: cautious. Backman: nervous. Collins: intense.

He added earlier that, not surprisingly, they all said that they thought the interview “went well.”   Just like those “successful surgeries” I go on about from time to time, I’d just once love to hear someone come out of an interview and say “Oh, it was terrible. I totally blew it. When he asked me where I saw myself in five years I accidentally mentioned that novel I’m working on and it all went down hill from there . . .”

Again, meaningless stuff. But I’m way more interested in hearing this kind of thing than having cliches dutifully repeated.

Report: Yankees, Reds finalizing trade for Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray
Getty Images
5 Comments

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.