The Red Sox hire Chili Davis as a minor league hitting coach; fundamentally shift the balance of power in the AL East

25 Comments

The Red Sox hired Chili Davis to be the hitting coach for the AAA Pawsox today. That’s swell. Nice guy. Good hitter. But probably not worth this tweet from Heyman:

red sox announce hiring of chili davis as pawsox hitting coach. 1 of best/smartest guys in game. yankees still hibernating.

You know, there’s a lot to be desired about the Yankees’ offseason, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that the identity of a team’s minor league hitting coach has had absolutely no bearing on any major league pennant race in the history of forever nor will it even if they’re still playing baseball in the year 2525. I think it’s OK to give the Yankees a pass here for “hibernating.”

Indeed, the notion that anything the Red Sox do that the Yankees don’t immediately counter represents some sort of victory in a never-ending war is one of the more tiresome memes in all of baseball.

It reminds me of this.

Report: Yankees, Reds finalizing trade for Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray
Getty Images
3 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.