The Mets decided over the weekend to hold David Wright out of the first two games of the Grapefruit League schedule due to stiffness in the left side of his rib cage. He has downplayed the severity of the issue all along, but it’s clear that the Mets aren’t taking any chances.
According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, Mets manager Terry Collins said this afternoon that Wright will not make his spring debut until at least next week. The 29-year-old third baseman worked out in the weight room today and no longer feels discomfort, but the Mets simply don’t want to risk the possibility of a setback and a longer shutdown.
“He felt great,” Collins said. “We’ll see when they’ll let him go back on the field. But he said there’s no pain at all, no discomfort at all. So, again, those are all great signs. And he admitted, he told me today, ‘I think it was really a good move that we slowed this down.”
Wright appeared in just 102 games last season due to a stress fracture in his lower back, batting .254/.345/.427 with 14 home runs, 61 RBI, 13 stolen bases and a .771 OPS.
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.