Adam Kennedy is the Mariners’ designated hitter and batting cleanup tonight (seriously)

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Last season the Mariners ranked dead last in baseball with 513 runs, which was 74 runs fewer than the 29th-ranked Pirates and a historically inept total.

They’ve been slightly better so far this year, ranking 24th in scoring, but their lineup for tonight’s game against the Royals might be more embarrassing than anything that happened last year because of this:

Adam Kennedy is starting at designated hitter and batting cleanup.

Yes, the same 35-year-old Adam Kennedy who batted .249 with a .327 slugging percentage in 135 games for the Nationals last season, has hit .266 with a .361 slugging percentage during the past five years, and has never cracked 15 homers or a .450 slugging percentage in his 13-season career.

He’s starting at DH. And batting cleanup. For an MLB team. In mid-April. Gonna be another long season in Seattle.

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.