PEDs are OK. Plato and Kant said so.

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This story in The Atlantic may be the biggest, juiciest bit of Craig-bait ever composed. I want to take this story out for long walks and tell it all of my deepest secrets and have it love me for me. I want to make a serious commitment to this story and show it I’m not like all those other bloggers who will link them and forget them. It’s serious between this story and me.

Actually, I’m linking it because it will enrage most of you people and if you haven’t guessed it in the past four years, enraging most of you people gives me endless satisfaction.

The upshot: a philosophy professor citing Plato, Kant and others to counter the usual anti-PED arguments. Which, given the usual tenor of PED debates, will convince you anti-PED folk out there about as much as a Nikolai Volkoff soliloquy about why Hulk Hogan sucks would have convinced wrestling fans circa 1985. I mean, if you’re the sort of person who calls Alex Rodriguez “A-Roid,” I don’t feel like Immanuel Kant and Plato and references to the Socratic dialogue Euthyphro are really going to have a lot of persuasive power for you.

Actual honesty now: I agree with reason number 7 listed for why PEDs are bad: the arms race they create. As in, how Player X using PEDs may coerce Player Y into using them. At that point someone is being pressured into taking risks they may not have otherwise taken and I feel like that reason in and of itself is enough to justify the ban of PEDs. At least PEDs which present health risks. If there is some imaginary PED which, one day, is confirmed to be harmless, it changes things.

Anyway: I expect most of you to rail against this as stupid and to repat your “cheating is wrong” mantra. But it would be really great if you actually dug into the reasons why it’s wrong and admit that not all of the arguments tossed out by strongly anti-PED people hold logical water.

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.