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Mets’ Juan Lagares likely out for season with foot injury

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When Juan Lagares suffered a hyperextended big toe making a catch during Wednesday’s game, it didn’t seem like a major injury. However, an MRI revealed a complete tear of the plantar plate of the toe. He’s slated for surgery next week, and the Mets announced that it’s “likely” he will miss the remainder of the season.

Playing primarily against lefties, Lagares was hitting .333/.375/.390 in 59 at-bats this season. In spite of the injuries that have set him back time after time, he was still playing excellent defense in center field, making him a nice asset on a team whose alternatives in center are better suited for the corners.

Unfortunately, Lagares’s body has rarely been up to the task of allowing him to play regularly. In 2013 and 2014, he was probably the best defensive center fielder in the majors, making him a strong regular despite middling offensive production. His overall play slipped the next year, and this will be the third season in a row in which he’s failed to play in 100 games.

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.