General manager Brian Sabean loves veterans and the Giants are in need of catching help with Buster Posey out for the season, but Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that they “don’t consider Ivan Rodriguez the answer.”
Rodriguez is old enough that his son was drafted by the Twins earlier this week and he’s hitting .205 with a .585 OPS in 26 games as Wilson Ramos’ backup in Washington, so unless the question is “who’s a washed up future Hall of Famer?” then the Giants are right not to think he’s “the answer.”
On the other hand, presumably the Nationals will eventually come around to the idea of getting anything of value they can for Rodriguez and Eli Whiteside has struggled filling in for Posey. Sabean and the Giants understandably don’t think much of Rodriguez, but they may still be willing to give up a low-level prospect for his veteran-ness if Whiteside is hitting .190 next month.
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.