Here’s a fun thing from the Braves’ move to Cobb County: a big reason the Braves claim they are moving to Cobb County is because the parking is better up there. I think that’s somewhat disingenuous — they’re moving because that’s where the people with the money are and where the stadium that will make them more money will sit — but, sure, let’s go with the parking thing for the time being.
Turns out that, because some bridge over the interstate is going to cost more money than people first thought, there won’t be an easy way to get people from the parking to the ballpark. From the AJC:
The bridge plan, rolled out soon after the November announcement that the team would relocate to Cobb County in 2017, is key in the Braves’ effort to provide enough parking spaces and get pedestrians from that area to the ballpark without walking along congested roads.
But new questions have surfaced about the bridge project and whether there’s money to pay for it in the existing stadium budget, which includes $14 million in local sales tax earmarked for transportation upgrades.
The bridge was originally slated to cost $3.5 million has risen to $9 million and that’s a huge part of that $14 million upgrade budget.
Or, thinking about it differently, the difference is less than half of what the Braves are paying Dan Uggla this season. So maybe the Braves could pitch in a little? Or is that something too impolite to suggest?
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.