There will be lots of rulings in the Dodgers’ bankruptcy case, but the first major one came today: the judge said that Major League Baseball does not have to turn over the metric-butt-ton of documents Frank McCourt sought in his motion the other day.
The document issue itself is kind of boring, but the overall rationale for denying McCourt’s request bodes well for those of us who would like to see this case move quickly and efficiently: From Bill Shaikin’s report in the L.A. Times:
“This is clearly, in my mind, not an appropriate occasion to turn this hearing into a trial on the commissioner”
Granted, this could bog down again later. But if the judge was not impressed with Frank McCourt’s claims of being singled out by Major League Baseball at this preliminary step of the case, he may very well not be too impressed with it later, either. Which means that it’s more likely that this will be less a “trial on the commissioner” and more of a trial on McCourt’s management of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
And if that’s the case, things won’t go well for him.
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.