The story from earlier in the week that Saul Katz wants to sell his share of the Mets — which he adamantly denied the same day — was based on the premise that the Mets are losing money and Katz is tired of subsidizing the team. That’s what the New York Times said anyway.
Bud Selig says he’s heard nothing about Katz wanting to sell and cited the denial, but he went a step further and said that there was no truth to the assumption that the Mets are losing money:
I’ve said this repetitively — I have no concerns about the Mets. I have no reason to have any concerns. Why should I have? That’s the whole point . . . I’m very optimistic about what they’re doing. The only people telling me to have concerns are people who don’t know and haven’t seen any facts . . . I don’t understand these stories because I have all the economic facts — nothing to support (the team is hemorrhaging money). Major League Baseball has all the economic information. This idea that I should have reason to be concerned is just wrong.”
I suppose that’s good news. But it’s also frustrating for Mets fans who look at the bullpen they’re stuck with and assume it’s that way because the team is broke. Now what? It’s that way because the team just doesn’t want a good bullpen?
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.