The promotion of Ryne Sandberg from manager of Phillies Triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley IronPigs to third base coach for the Philadelphia Phillies was seen by many as a precursor for changes to come. Current manager Charlie Manuel, now 69 years old, is in the final year of his contract. Quite a few Phillies could go after the season as well, including Chase Utley, Carlos Ruiz, Roy Halladay, and Michael Young. With a changing of the guard on the horizon, many think 2013 is Manuel’s last year in Philly, but he isn’t ready to hang up the spikes yet and doesn’t understand why the Phillies have yet to extend his contract.
Via the AP’s Rob Maaddi:
Manuel isn’t one to make demands, but it seems he’s a bit peeved.
“I’m not disappointed in it at all. I don’t know if I get it or not,” Manuel said. “I think they can do whatever they want to do. That’s how I look at it. Actually, when you get right down to it, it doesn’t bother me a whole lot because I have nothing to do with it. If you stop and think about it, I don’t have nothing to do with it. I mean that in a good way.”
Manuel led the Phillies to their second championship in the franchise’s 130-year history and five consecutive NL East titles. He has also set franchise-bests leading his 2011 squad to 102 wins, and surpassing Gene Mauch with the most managerial wins (currently 727) as a Phillie. The Phillies overall have a .561 winning percentage under his stewardship.
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.