ESPN’s Jesse Rogers reports that Cubs starter Yu Darvish got a second opinion on his injured right elbow from Dr. James Andrews and underwent an athroscopic debridement on Wednesday. The Cubs, who shut down Darvish last month, expect him to be ready in time for spring training next year.
The Cubs and Darvish agreed on a six-year, $126 million contract in February. The first year didn’t go as expected. In eight starts, Darvish posted a 4.95 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 21 walks across 40 innings. He landed on the disabled list after his May 20 start against the Reds and never made it back to the mound.
Despite Darvish’s absence and lack of production, the Cubs still entered Wednesday two games up on the Brewers for first place in the NL Central. They will wrap up their three-game home series with the Brewers tonight and will wrap up the season with a makeup game in Washington, D.C. against the Nationals, three games against the Reds at home, three against the Diamondbacks and White Sox on the road, then head back home for four games with the Pirates and three with the Cardinals.
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.