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Mets released Adrián González because he slumped briefly

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SNY’s Andy Martino reports that Mets GM Sandy Alderson said his team released first baseman Adrián González because he slumped over a period of about two weeks. Alderson said, “The last 15 games, his OPS was right about .500, which is not great. Overall, below .700. Also not great.”

Indeed, Gonzalez went 3-for-28 with a double in nine games between May 31 and June 10, after which he was released. On the season, he hit .237/.299/.373 over 187 plate appearances. It’s not great, and certainly defensible that the Mets would want a better player with his roster spot.

What is weird, however, is using that reasoning to justify getting rid of a player when the club has gone out of its way to keep José Reyes rostered. Reyes is batting .149/.213/.203 on the season, which is beyond not great. In fact, it’s downright awful. The Mets, however, want to give Reyes a proper sendoff — ideally giving him a retirement news conference. It’s understandable why a team would want to give a longtime productive player a nice wave goodbye, but during the offseason prior to the 2016 season, Reyes was arrested for allegedly grabbing his wife by the throat and shoving her into a sliding glass door in their hotel room. The charges were dropped but Reyes was still suspended for the first 51 games of the 2016 season without pay.

If González’s level of unproductivity is grounds for release, it makes one wonder why the Mets are going out of their way to keep Reyes around given his troublesome history off the field and his incredible lack of productivity on the field this season. Don’t forget, Reyes won the NL batting title in 2011. The Mets then let him walk into free agency, eventually signing with the Marlins. Loyalty hasn’t exactly been the most common thread in the relationship between Reyes and the Mets.

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.