Erick Aybar’s MRI reveals left oblique strain

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The Angels might be without shortstop Erick Aybar for the next several days.

According to Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times, Aybar underwent an MRI on his left side Wednesday that revealed an oblique muscle strain.

The Angels have not yet placed Aybar on the 15-day disabled list and are obviously hoping that he won’t need to go, but time will tell on that matter.

If he’s not feeling any progress by this weekend, the Halos will have no choice but to pull the trigger and bring in more infield depth from the minors.

“We’ll evaluate it,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday. “He’s only been able to bunt. We’ll see how he is Friday, if he can maybe be part of the game a little bit more if we need him to do something.”

For now, the Angels will rely on Maicer Izturis and Brandon Wood as their primary fill-ins at shortstop.

Report: Yankees, Reds finalizing trade for Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray
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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.