Benches empty in Indians-Yankees game after Teixeira HBP

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It never came to blows between the Red Sox and Yankees this week, but it almost did with the Tribe in town tonight.  After Fausto Carmona hit Mark Teixeira with a pitch in the second inning, the benches and the bullpens emptied, though no blows were exchanged.

The Indians were down 4-0 when a wild Carmona drilled Teixeira.  The previous batter, Curtis Granderson, had just homered.  There probably wasn’t a whole lot of intention on Carmona’s part. He struggled with his control right from the start tonight, walking three batters in the first inning.

But intentional or not, Teixeira did take offense.  He had just just gotten hit by the Red Sox on Tuesday, knocking him out of the game with a bruised knee.  Carmona’s plunking made it seven HBPs for him this season, and while Teixeira has always crowded the plate, that’s well ahead of his usual pace.  His career high for HBPs is 14, established in his rookie season in 2003.  He was hit 13 times last year.

Carmona and Teixeira jawed afterwards, and while it didn’t seem like anyone on either team wanted to throw a punch, managers Manny Acta and Joe Girardi got into a very heated discussion in the middle of the infield before things eventually calmed down.

This is just the opener of a four-game series, so there could be more to come.

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.