According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, the Angels are willing to part with Peter Bourjos in order to upgrade their bullpen and could consider dealing Kendrys Morales as well.
Bourjos, perhaps baseball’s premier defensive center fielder, has been made expendable in Anaheim by the emergence of Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo. Still, there are a lot of teams that would love to have him. A lifetime .252/.302/.413 hitter, he’ll make close to the minimum again next year and he won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2016 season.
The market for Morales would be more limited, since he’s probably still not ready to be an everyday first baseman after tearing up his ankle a couple of years ago. Also, he’s been pretty average offensively this year with a .284/.330/.428 line and nine homers in 264 at-bats.
The Angels are hoping to shore up both their rotation and pen, and they’re in the market for big names like Cole Hamels and Zack Greinke. The Phillies and Brewers both likely would have some interest in Bourjos. The Nationals would surely love to have him, but with Drew Storen still trying to work his way back from elbow surgery, it’d be difficult for them to part with the relief help (likely Tyler Clippard) the Angels would want in return.
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.