The Nationals and Giants braved a slippery field on Saturday night and came out worse for wear after Bryce Harper sustained a knee injury while trying to beat out a grounder in the first inning. Harper’s left foot slid on the first base bag, sending the right fielder sprawling and clutching his knee. He was unable to put weight on his left leg following the incident and had to be carried off the field by team trainers.
The Nationals have yet to announce a formal diagnosis, but it doesn’t look good for their star outfielder. Harper has been relatively healthy this season and missed just three days with mild groin soreness back in May. Should the knee injury necessitate a trip to the disabled list, it’ll be his first stint on the DL since undergoing thumb surgery in 2014.
Following the mishap, Brian Goodwin covered right field while Andrew Stevenson entered the game to take over in center field. The Nationals currently lead the Giants 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning.
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.