The Pirates shifted rotation mainstays Paul Maholm and Kevin Correia to the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday, officially bringing their seasons to an end.
Maholm went on the DL on Aug. 20 with a left shoulder strain after going 6-14 with a 3.66 ERA in 26 starts, leaving the Pirates with a tough decision to make this winter. His option for 2012 is worth $9.75 million, which seems excessive for a guy who is 53-73 lifetime. Maholm, though, had a career-best ERA this year, and he had made at least 29 starts in each of his previous five full seasons. He’d likely land a multiyear deal as a free agent if the Pirates let him go.
Correia, a surprise All-Star, ended his year 12-11 with a 4.79 ERA. He’s been sidelined since Aug. 19 with a strained oblique muscle. Correia was 7-4 with a 3.44 ERA after two months, but he faded fast from there and went 1-5 over his last eight starts.
The Pirates made the moves today to help create room for callups. Brought back to the majors were third baseman Pedro Alvarez, left-hander Aaron Thompson and left-hander Daniel Moskos. Left-hander Jeff Locke and right-hander Jared Hughes will make their major league debuts.
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.