Yesterday the Rangers met with C.J. Wilson’s agent, Bob Garber, who described the get-together as “great” and said he was “pleasantly surprised” by how things went.
That presumably means the Rangers made a strong push to re-sign Wilson, but Garber declined to tell Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas if an actual offer was made and Durrett speculates that the Rangers might not be willing to give out a five-year deal, let alone the six-year contract Wilson is reportedly hoping for.
Another factor is that the Marlins’ interest in Wilson likely hinges on whether they sign Albert Pujols. If they land Pujols that would presumably mean Miami’s wallet will finally slam shut, but if Pujols stays in St. Louis there’s lots of speculation that the Marlins will throw a bunch of that money in Wilson’s direction.
Texas reportedly views Mark Buehrle and Roy Oswalt as fallback options to Wilson, but Nolan Ryan admitted that the Rangers “are more familiar and more comfortable with him than anyone else.”
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.