Diamondbacks right-hander Kris Medlen has announced his retirement from baseball, writes Zach Buchanan of The Athletic. According to a team official, Medlen forewent his scheduled start for Triple-A Reno on Saturday. The Diamondbacks have yet to officially confirm the report.
The 32-year-old righty inked a minor league deal with Arizona prior to the 2018 season and was eventually recalled for a spot start in early May. He lasted four innings on seven runs, four walks and four strikeouts in his first and only loss of the year. Things didn’t go any smoother in Triple-A, where he went 0-5 in seven starts with a 5.03 ERA, 4.0 BB/9 and 7.7 SO/9 across 34 innings.
Medlen will hang up his cleats after completing an eight-year track in the majors with the Braves, Royals and Diamondbacks. He delivered his strongest performance in Atlanta during the 2012 season, posting a 10-1 record in 12 starts and delivering a cumulative 1.57 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 7.8 SO/9 across 138 innings out of the rotation and bullpen. Two Tommy John surgeries took their toll on Medlen, however, limiting his effectiveness off the mound and preventing him from duplicating those career-high numbers in back-to-back stints with the Royals and D-backs. Notwithstanding his post-recovery struggles, the veteran righty will top off his career with a respectable 3.33 ERA and 9.1 fWAR, two complete games, and three playoff runs — including a World Series championship with the 2015 Royals.
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.