Sonny Gray
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Report: Braves, Twins, Rangers, and Padres are in on Sonny Gray


Yankees right-hander Sonny Gray is reportedly up for grabs this season after a disappointing performance in the Bronx, and there appears to be no shortage of suitors vying for the starter’s services. In addition to the Reds, who were linked to the team by Jon Heyman earlier this month, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Athletics, Braves, Twins, Rangers and Padres have all expressed interest in the righty, though no one team has emerged as a frontrunner in trade talks yet.

Gray’s stock has fallen considerably from his days as a 2.73-ERA, 3.8-fWAR hurler in the Athletics’ rotation. The 29-year-old was dealt to the Yankees for Dustin Fowler, Jorge Mateo and James Kaprielian at the 2017 trade deadline and completed his first full season with the club in 2018 with a 4.90 ERA, 8.5 SO/9 and career-worst 3.9 BB/9 through 130 1/3 innings out of the rotation and bullpen. After several shaky starts in July and August, he was officially booted from the rotation to make room for right-hander Lance Lynn and finished out the Yankees’ regular season in the ‘pen.

While Gray’s struggles caused some consternation as the Yankees pushed for a playoff berth in 2018, there’s nothing to suggest that he’s incapable of bouncing back in his final arbitration-eligible season. His poor performance was largely linked to Yankee Stadium, where he limped to a 6.98 ERA, 6.8 SO/9 and 5.3 BB/9 through 15 appearances and 59 1/3 innings while maintaining fairly solid numbers on the road.

No one team has taken the lead on negotiations so far, but the Athletics appear to have a more vested interest as Gray’s first major-league club — and the only one that’s personally benefited from his Cy Young-caliber performance in recent years. The Braves and Twins could also make a serious play for the righty, with both clubs poised to make a run at their respective division titles in 2019. The Rangers, Reds and Padres, meanwhile, figure as clear outliers as 95+ loss teams who have long-term rebuilds still ahead of them.

Phillies-Mets could get contentious tonight

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As the Mets were wrapping up a 9-0 shellacking of the Phillies on Tuesday night, reliever Jacob Rhame threw a pitch up and in to first baseman Rhys Hoskins with two outs in the ninth inning. The pitch sailed behind Hoskins’ back. The slugger wasn’t happy about the scare, understandably. Players began to trickle out of their respective dugouts, but a fracas was avoided.

Hoskins was skeptical that Rhame simply missed his spot. Per’s Thomas Harrigan, Hoskins said, “He didn’t miss up and in the rest of the inning, so I’ll let you decide. I would assume teams are pitching me in because that’s where they think they can get me out, and that’s fine. That’s part of the game. Again, I think most guys are capable of pitching inside and not missing that bad.”

Teammate Bryce Harper said, “I don’t get it. I understand that two of their guys got hit yesterday. But, I mean, if it’s baseball and you’re going to drill somebody, at least hit him in the [butt]. Not in the head. You throw 98, it’s scary now. You could kill somebody. Lose your eyesight. That’s bigger than the game.”

Indeed, two Mets were hit by pitches on Monday night. José Álvarez hit Jeff McNeil in the seventh inning, which advanced a base runner. In the very next at-bat, Juan Nicasio hit Pete Alonso with a first-pitch fastball. It was obvious neither was intentional as the Phillies were only down two runs and hitting both batters advanced base runners and led to runs scoring. It is less obvious that Rhame’s pitch to Hoskins was unintentional, but he showed empathy in his post-game comments. Rhame said, “When you accidentally sail one, it’s probably pretty scary. I’d get [angry], too.”

Will Wednesday night’s series finale be contentious? Despite being “fairly upset,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said, “We do not retaliate, and we do not throw at anybody intentionally,” Jake Seiner of the Associated Press reports.

Mets manager Mickey Calloway didn’t give as straight an answer. Per’s Anthony DiComo, Calloway said, “I think at this point, you just go out there and beat people, and win. … For now, I don’t feel like anything has been intentional at us that has warranted anything from our side.” If that changes, however, Calloway said, “They’re going to have each other’s backs.”

Hopefully, neither side decides to take justice into their own hands. But, welcome to the NL East in 2019. The Mets lead the Phillies by one game, and the Braves and Nationals by 1.5 games. It’s going to be a knock-down, drag-out division fight all year long.