As we noted yesterday, the Cubs are seeking minority investors in order to help fund the renovations to Wrigley Field and the development of the neighborhood around the ballpark. One potential investor? The most famous investor of them all:
Warren Buffett, the world’s fourth-richest person, is interested in investing in the Chicago Cubs, according to a source who traded candor for anonymity . . . The Ricketts family hails from Omaha, the same city that is home to Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway .
Buffett has baseball ownership experience. Or at least investing experience, as he owned a minority share of the Omaha Triple-A team, so it’s not totally foreign territory for him.
It would be interesting, though, as being a minority shareholder in a closely held baseball team like the Cubs would give him little if any say in how the asset is managed. In a lot of ways doing that is a vanity investment, and Buffet is a lot of things, but a vanity investor is not one of them.
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.