Wilpon: The Mets are “bleeding cash”

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There was a time, not too long ago, when if one were to suggest in a post on this blog that the Mets financial situation was dire, as opposed to merely being a troublesome, short-term cash flow annoyance, and that the Wilpons’ hold on the team was in serious jeopardy, as opposed to merely being subject to some moderate restructuring, that:

(a) a certain commenter who seems overly-invested in defending the Wilpons for someone not in their employ would show up here and claim that you were a fubulist; and

(b) the writer of such a post would receive emails from various people in official capacities claiming that he was being unduly harsh in his assessments with respect to the state of the Mets.

Given that Fred Wilpon is himself saying such things right now, however, I suppose it’s safe for me to pass this along from the New York Daily News without having to field such criticism:

The Mets are “bleeding cash” and could lose as much as $70 million this year, Fred Wilpon said in a story that will appear in this week’s Sports Illustrated. The embattled Mets owner told the magazine he fears the $1 billion clawback lawsuit filed by Irving Picard, the trustee who represents Ponzi scheme artist Bernie Madoff’s victims, could cost him ownership of the team if Picard prevails.

It is unknown whether, in the Sports Illustrated article, Wilpon once again loses the thread of the interview and slams Johan Santana or Francisco Rodriguez.

Yankees trade Sonny Gray to the Reds

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The deal was much talked about all weekend and now the deal is done: The Cincinnati Reds gave acquired starter Sonny Gray and lefty Reiver Sanmartin from the Yankees in exchange for second base prospect Shed Long and a 2019 competitive balance pick.

The key to making the deal happen: Gray agreeing to a a three-year, $30.5 million contract extension. The Reds will likewise hold a $12 million club option for 2023. The deal had been struck and a window granted through close of business today to get Gray to agree to the extension and, obviously, he has.

The Reds will get a pitcher coming off of a bad season in which he posted a disappointing 4.90 ERA in 23 starts and seven relief appearances. He was hammered particularly hard in Yankee Stadium but pitched better on the road. Great American Ballpark is not a great pitcher’s park itself but any change of scenery would be nice for Gray, who had become much unwanted and unloved in New York. In Cincinnati he has the assurance of a spot in the rotation and, even better for him, he will be reunited with his college pitching coach, Derek Johnson, who joined new manager David Bell’s Reds staff earlier this offseason. If he bounces back even a little bit, the Reds will have a useful starter at a below market price for four years. If he doesn’t, well, they haven’t exactly gone bankrupt taking the chance.

The Reds will also get Reiver Sanmartin, 22, who started in the Rangers system before being traded to the Yankees. He’s a soft-tosser who figures to be a reliever if he makes the big leagues. He played at four different levels last season, with one game at Double-A and the rest below that, posting a composite 2.80 ERA in 10 starts and 13 overall appearances while striking out 7.8 batters per nine.

The Yankees will get Shed Long, who is ranked as the Reds’ seventh best prospect. The 23-year old second baseman hit .261/.353/.412 at Double-A in 2018 and has hit very close to that overall line for his entire six-year minor league career. He strikes out a bit and may not stick at second base long term, shifting to a corner outfield slot perhaps, but he’s a legitimate prospect.

The Reds get another starter with some upside. The Yankees get rid of a problem and gain a prospect and a draft pick. Sonny Gray gets some job and financial security at a time when it is not at all clear what his future holds. Not a bad baseball trade.

UPDATE: Welp, the Yankees don’t have a prospect anymore. They just traded long to the Mariners for outfielder Josh Stowers. Stowers was a second-round pick in last year’s draft. He’s 21 and batted .260/.380/.410 with five homers and 20 steals over 58 games in Short-Season ball in 2018. He’s ranked by MLB.com as the Mariners’ No. 10 prospect, but now he’s New York bound.