Ryan Braun won the MVP. This not long after he broke the testosterone-o-meter in a random drug test. This led to a whole lot of writers loudly proclaiming his award illegitimate and/or demanding that it be stripped from him and given to Matt Kemp (or something; they haven’t thought ahead that far). He now faces suspension.
This Saturday is the BBWAA awards dinner where the MVP will be handed out. As the New York Times reports, Braun is not going to avoid the controversy. He’s going to be there and accept his award in person and will give an acceptance speech.
So the question is: will any of the writers who argued from Braun to have his award stripped from him do anything or say anything at the banquet? Will there be a boycott or a protest or something? Will Jon Paul Morosi or Kevin Kernan or any of the others who demanded a re-vote all get up and leave as Braun takes the stage?
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.