What do we really know about Mr. Met?

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Richard Sandomir has a nice story in the New York Times today about Mr. Met. About his history. About how beloved he is. And about how, despite all of the turmoil the Mets have found themselves in over the years, Mr. Met has always been there, smiling and spreading good will:

Mr. Met, then, can be seen as the one blameless figure in Flushing. Mr. Met doesn’t give up five runs in four innings. He doesn’t lose fly balls in the sun. He hasn’t lost his home run stroke. He didn’t throw in his finances with Bernard L. Madoff. He didn’t design Citi Field. He is, in his way, harmlessly pure. And as a result, arguably more popular than ever.

That’s one theory.  Another theory:  with a few exceptions, Mr. Met has been around for every bad thing that has ever happened to the Mets since he was introduced in 1964.

He’s the constant. You can’t blame Fred Wilpon bad stuff that happened in the 60s. You can’t blame Daryl Strawberry for the Mets recent late season collapses.  You can’t blame David Wright for the aborted dynasty of the mid-to-late 80s. You can’t blame George Foster for the financial turmoil in which the team currently finds itself.

But Mr. Met has seen it all.  He has sat back quietly — too quietly if you ask me — while others have taken the fall.

There are no accidents people. And there should be no sacred cows.  It’s high time someone got to the bottom of what, exactly, Mr. Met knew and when did he know it.

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.