Cubs interviewing Rick Renteria and Dave Martinez for managerial vacancy

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We heard last week that the Cubs had interviewed former Indians and Nationals manager Manny Acta and former Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch, but there are some other names in the mix.

Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com reports that the Cubs met with Padres bench coach Rick Renteria today in California. The front office is expected to have a sit-down with Rays bench coach Dave Martinez later this week as they continue their search for a replacement for Dale Sveum.

Renteria has been on the Padres’ coaching staff since 2008. Of course, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer was the GM of the Padres from October of 2009 through October of 2011, so there is some familiarity there. For what it’s worth, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote over the weekend that Renteria may have the “inside track” for the job.

Report: Yankees, Reds finalizing trade for Sonny Gray

Sonny Gray
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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.