The Cincinnati Reds have acquired right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray from the New York Yankees. Jeff Passan was the first to report that the deal was done. He also reported that Shed Long would be going to the Yankees in the deal. There is no word, yet, if the rumored draft pick is going with him.

Ken Rosenthal just came out with the details for the contract.

Updated at 4:28pm

There is more to the trade than what was initially reported. The Reds will be sending along their competitive balance 1st round draft pick. That will fall in the #36-38 spot in the draft. The Reds will also be receiving left-handed pitcher Reiver Sanmartin from the New York Yankees.

The Yankees immediately sent Long to the Mariners for outfield prospect Josh Stowers, the 54 overall draft pick in 2018.

From Baseball-Reference.com, Gray’s career statistics in the American League with Oakland and the Yankees are a 59-52 win-loss record with a 3.66 earned run average. His best season was 2015, 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA for Oakland, and third-place finisher for the AL Cy Young Award.

The right-hander who finished third in the American League Cy Young Award voting in 2015 while pitching for Oakland was on the market primarily because of this Home-Away pitching split. In Yankee Stadium, he allowed an opposing .318 batting average, .406 on-base percentage, .527 slugging percentage and .932 OPS. On the road, the numbers were .226/.295/.320/.614. Two different pitchers, really.

A Sonny Gray deal has been rumored for weeks. The Yankees went into let’s-make-a-deal mode late this week when they announced that right-handed reliever Adam Ottavino had agreed to a contract. To get Ottavino onto the 40-man roster, someone else had to go. Clearly, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman decided that player would be Gray, and set out to try to get some return instead of just releasing him to the market.

For the past two days, one of the primary names mentioned that the Yankees sought was minor league second baseman Shed Long. He’s the number eight-ranked prospect in the Reds minor league system, according to RedsMinorLeagues.com. His career minor-league numbers: .272 batting average, .353 OBP, .435 slugging and .788 OPS.

Sonny Gray will join Wood, Roark, Luis Castillo and Anthony DeSclafani in the rotation. This is an improvement over the 2018 starting five. If those five open the season in the rotation, that means Tyler Mahle, Cody Reed, Michael Lorenzen, Amir Garrett, Sal Romano and Robert Stephenson won’t be. Lorenzen and Garrett will likely remain in the bullpen. The rest will likely open the season in Louisville or elsewhere.

Keep in mind that for the last two years, multiple Reds pitchers have opened the season on the disabled list. This depth of talent will certainly help the team avoid a horrific start to the season if the injury bug sweeps through the team for the third consecutive spring.

What does this mean moving forward for the Reds?

Does all of this mean that the Reds actually did “#getthepitching”? We’ll see. It would have been nice to see an “ace” added like Dallas Keuchel or Corey Kluber. Both are still technically possibilities, and the addition of Gray might make it easier to land Kluber.

With the addition of Gray’s contract, the Reds are now at $120M in payroll. Is this what the team leadership meant when saying the payroll would be the highest ever in 2019? Or is there more left to sign a centerfielder like A.J. Pollack or a pitcher like Keuchel?

What do you think? Was surrendering Long too much? Or is Gray going to revert to previous form and provide the Reds with a standout starter over the next few years.

147 Responses

  1. Rut

    Reported that extension was signed as well, so not a 1 yr rental.

    I would think the next steps for Dick-Krall is to find a cf and bolster the pen.

    Fwiw, I think this fits the bill of “get the pitching”. And did so in a way that did not mortgage the future — either in prospects (for Kluber) or cash (for Kuechel).

    Have to say I like it for 2019 and like that we have maximum flexibility for the years after.

    • JayTheRed

      With all the people that are no longer in the rotation I highly doubt we go after a relief pitcher. CF is the top place to improve yet. Plus if the Reds are serious about Realmotu.

      Other than that I think we are probably done starting pitching Unless Kuechel suddenly wants to come here. I’ve been seriously doubting he does.

      • Sven

        I don’t understand why the Phillies would be that much more appealing to Keuchel than the Reds. It’s not like their ballpark is a pitcher’s paradise and they have been just about as awful as we have the last several years.

  2. SFRedsFan

    Fundamentally depends on whether draft pick was included. The contract for Gray seems reasonable given how hard it is to sign a FA pitcher to Cincy.
    Really hoping they go get another high end person like Pollack or Marwin G. Signing Dallas would now mean pushing Disco out of the rotation….not loving that thought.

    • Joe Shmoe

      You don’t like have Dallas Keuchel instead of Disco? Is that what you’re saying? I just want to be sure…

      • SFRedsFan

        Things are simple in a vacuum. In reality, adding Dallas likely requires overpaying on dollars and years. He would be an upgrade over Disco (at least in the early years), but you are likely paying $19M more for maybe a 1-2 WAR increase. You also stunt the development of one of our “stronger” internal pitchers.
        Comparing that to upgrading CF from a potpourri of our of place players to a gold glove level player (with an injury history) can hopefully be achieved without overpaying (“AJ, come play in our bandbox and crush 25 HRs and NOT have to patrol a huge outfield”).
        So outside the vacuum, I take the plyer that likely upgrades the team the best, which IMO is Pollack.

      • Joe Shmoe

        I like Disco but I have zero faith in him. He’s been a pretty good pitcher when he’s healthy but there’s zero upside anymore. If he’s healthy then maybe he’ll be as good as he was a few years ago. I’d rather put Mahle in rotation and move Disco along

  3. matt hendley

    3-year extension, through the 22 seasons with a 12 million club option for ’23. Deal is worth 30.25 million with 500k in incentives. The reported return was just Long.

    • matt hendley

      correction, a Lefty is coming back as well, and out the competitive balance, pick is going out. Reiver Sanmartin is the name.

  4. John Wan

    I love this deal! High upside. While the contract is long, it isn’t that much money so that if it doesn’t work out, we aren’t handicapped like we were with Bailey’s contract. Shed Long was blocked by Senzel and Gennett, and we have Jonathan India if Senzel doesn’t work out.

    We got three quality pitchers this offseason, kept our major prospects, and kept flexibility for the next offseason.

    I only worry that we’re only targetting players that our coaching staff is familiar with instead of players that will help the team out the most going forward.

    • Rut

      I will take former Vandy players in their prime over former Cardinal players looking to retire…

      Certainly an improvement over the past regime!

    • greenmtred

      There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with acquiring players your coaches are familiar with, unless the players suck.

  5. Seat101

    I’m going to order a can of buthope.

    • Mark Moore

      +100

      Make it a small case, please.

  6. Mark Moore

    OK, so that’s done. I do like the extension. It gives us some predictability and it didn’t push things to an extreme like other former pitchers. I hope Gray can do well at GABP. Shed remains a “prospect” and we all know what that means. Plus, we do realize we have more at 2B than most anywhere else. All of that makes him expendable and the front office did what needed to be done.

    Wait and see on the draft pick, but those picks are never a sure thing anyway.

    Less than a month to go. I think there is still some tweaking that will happen, but for the rotation, I’d be surprised if it’s anything more than what we’ve seen.

    Chad – does this count as hash brown got the pitching?

    • BigRedMike

      The Reds must really see something they like in Gray. Now 4 years with a club option.
      The draft pick is the only potential downfall as Long is not really that big of a loss. Only plays 2B, and that is a position that is plentiful in MLB.

      Castillo and Gray are now locked in. Maybe one of the younger pitchers can take a step forward. Otherwise, I do not really have an issue with the Reds utilizing the Free Agent market to complete the starting rotation each year. Build up the position players and bullpen.

      • doofus

        Maybe the Reds liked the numbers below:

        “According to Statcast™, this was the average velocity of Gray’s four-seam fastball dating back to 2015:

        2018: 93.3 mph
        2017: 93.5 mph
        2016: 93.5 mph
        2015: 93.7 mph

        And this was the measured spin rate of Gray’s curveball:

        2018: 2,852 rpm
        2017: 2,891 rpm
        2016: 2,818 rpm
        2015: 2,605 rpm.”

    • LWBlogger2

      We don’t have nearly as many 2B now. Scooter, Senzel, India (perhaps)… Gone are Downs, Herrera, Long. I wouldn’t say we had a “surplus” anymore.

  7. donm10

    Has there been any hypothesis as to why his numbers were so bad at Yankee stadium? Wishfully thinking it was just nerves and a change of scenery will have him right where he left off…

    • SFRedsFan

      I read an analysis that his road ERA was so low because he played Baltimore twice and the Royals once and those pulled it way down….hoping this wasn’t the actual reason…does not bode well for the “just get him out of NY storyline”

      • doofus

        He also pitched well at Houston. The results are there for your inspection.

  8. CI3J

    To be truthful, I’m not too fussed about losing Long. Dude is 23 (i.e. same age as Senzel) and still isn’t exactly beating down the door to get to Cincinnati. He does seem to have some decent power and speed and could be a 20-20 player someday, but as it stands right now, he wasn’t “tearing it up” in the minors to show he might be ready to try MLB. If his numbers in the minors could directly translate to MLB, ok, fine, he might have been a decent player. But for someone who hasn’t even made it to AAA yet, that’s highly unlikely.

    So in the end, I’m comfortable moving on from Long. Maybe he’ll still prove to be an amazing player later on. Maybe not. But if Gray pitches at GABP at the same level as his away stats from NY, then the Reds just traded a possibly decent prospect for an actual #1 starter.

    I believe it was a risk worth taking all around.

    • REED L BERGEN

      Long needs a little bit of work before he is a ML player. He is a converted C and not particularly good in the field. Time may change that, we will see.

    • bellhead

      Long will be a MLB player unless he just falls flat going forward. Good player, let’s look at the return? We have a good MOR pitcher under control for the next 4 years.

  9. AMWills

    The Reds have definitely improved this offseason. It has been a long time since I’ve actually been somewhat excited for a 25 man roster. What are the odds this is what we see (barring any major changes)?
    SP (5)
    Sonny Gray
    Alex Wood
    Luis Castillo
    Tanner Roark
    Anthony Descalafani

    Lineup- (8)
    LF: Jesse Winker
    RF: Yasiel Puig
    1B: Joey Votto
    3B: Eugenio Suarez
    2B: Scooter Gennett
    CF: Scott Schebler
    C: Tucker Barnhart
    SS: Jose Peraza

    Bullpen (7)
    Raisel Iglesias
    Michael Lorenzen
    David Hernandez
    Jared Hughes
    Amir Garrett
    Cody Reed
    Sal Romano

    Bench (5)
    C: Curt Casali
    IF: Alex Blandino
    3B/C: Connor Joe (Or Senzel, but I’m not a big fan of him riding the pine when he could be getting last minute tuneups at AAA)
    OF: Matt Kemp
    OF: Phillip Ervin

    • BigRedMike

      Good summary

      Bullpen could be improved, but, a much better roster.

      Gennett should still be moved, but, at least there are rumors that he is not going to be extended.

      As they noted on the Podcast, it will be interesting to see what the new coaching staff does with Winker and his spot in the lineup.

      At least the starting rotation is not built on hope for 2019.

    • David

      I think your lineup is good, but I am going to guess that unless Kemp is traded, he will start and NOT ride the bench. Maybe Puig in CF and Schebler coming off the bench, playing some days in CF or RF against Righties, etc.

      Conner Joe is an interesting case. Not sure if he sticks (Rule 5) but could be a sleeper, as he was once a highly regarded prospect.

      I especially like Cody Reed and Sal Romano in the BP, as they could stretch out to start if needed.

    • Steve

      Also remember that Farmer, a catcher can play 3b and the outfield.

    • DrBagel

      To add to this I’ll say for the first time in years there is actual depth for the rotation. There are at least 2-4 pitchers on the 40 man roster outside of the 5 you listed in the starting rotation that I would feel comfortable taking the mound for a MLB club. Improvement is exciting.

    • Shchi Cossack

      I doubt that Blandino is ready by opening day, leaving the middle IF depth severely lacking. Senzel will begin the season at AAA, playing CF for the Bats. If Blandino is not ready by opening day, Trahan will be the utility SS on the 25-man roster.

      If Conner Joe makes the 25-man roster out a ST as a rule 5 pickup, he will be the backup corner IF, if not, then Kyle Farmer likely gets added to the 40-man roster and becomes the backup corner IF and an additional backup C.

      Once Senzel is added to the 25-man roster, there is simply no room on the 25-man roster for Phillip Ervin. Senzel starts in CF with Puig and Winker on the corners. Kemp and Schebler may be the best RH/LH utility OF, PH tandem in MLB. They would serve as the primary bats off the bench with Trahan/Blandino or Joe/Farmer reserved for primarily defensive replacement duties.

      The status of 2 pitchers need to be addressed with the starting rotation, sans injuries, locked in with Gray, Wood, Roark, Castillo and DeSclafani. The bullpen has Iglesias, Hughes, Hernandez and Lorenzen locked in with 3 positions available. Two pitchers are out of options (Stephenson and Wisler) and the bullpen lacks any LH relievers. Romano, Garrett and Reed would probably be next in line for the bullpen on the 25-man roster, but that leaves Stephenson and Wisler out in the cold with no options remaining. These are issues that the Reds baseball ops brain trust (DW, NK & DB) must address between now and the end of ST.

      I actually have confidence that those making the baseball ops decisions have a plan(s) in place and the capability to make those decisions. It may involve some additional minor trades to move Stephenson and/or Wisler or migrating one or both to reliever roles while working with DJ and LT to finally tap into that MLB talent. I don’t see the Reds DFAing either of those 2 pitchers and losing them to a waiver claim, unless the brain trust sees no future utility for them.

      • BK

        First all good points as always … I enjoy reading your posts. I could see Farmer starting the year as the extra infielder. Suarez could make a spot start at SS and Farmer could cover in an emergency as he manned SS at the University of Georgia. This would keep Trahan at AAA and a stronger bat on the major league bench. I think keeping a Rule 5 pick this year will be really tough–he’ll have to really wow in ST. Just another possible path forward.

    • Scottya

      I’m thinking and hoping we are going to see nick senzel in the lineup from day one. A trade for a center fielder seems probable with the statements of DW and previous rumors, enciarte, Bradley jr, etc.

      I’m anticipating a trade of a corner outfielder for a center fielder. So we’ll see senzel all around including some or a lot of left field if a corner outfielder is moved. We shall see.

      • Matt Hendley

        Gotta say no on day 1 senzel. Even if we knew as a fact of life he could play center there is the service time implications. Thats roughly 11 days by itself. He also will need to take every opertunity he can in center, which makes starting him in the minor make more sense. I also think the rule 5 is getting returned to open the roster spot. Casilli has shown himself to be a capable backup. The open roster spot should go to a defensive minded OF to close out games for the reds when the need arrises. Ervin will rejoin the team in july or Sept depending on the reds record and trading needs. I see JT Realmuto as not necessary for the reds. Tucker, and we have an awful lot of players named tucker, will rebound and come back to what his extension was worth. Dont blow the prospect wealth.

      • doctor

        Like Cossack and Matt mention, Senzel should start in AAA, just to prove he is healthy(vertigo, elbow chips) as well as give him more reps for OF/CF.

    • LWBlogger2

      Unfortunately, Kemp is going to get more playing time than Winker, assuming that Puig can’t play CF well enough for the Reds to use him out there. The team will also likely go with an 8-man bullpen most the season. That would mean that a guy like Joe, Farmer, or Ervin wouldn’t be on the bench. Senzel may be the starting CF but who knows?

  10. JayTheRed

    Anyone have any info on the extra relief pitcher we picked up?
    Also I like the deal. We are very heavily stacked at 2nd base and depending on where you like the rankings for prospects we didn’t give up a top 5. That makes me happy.

    Also how much longer do we have Disco??

    • Gonzo Reds

      He’s a lefty starter yanks got late in 2017 from rangers. Finished in AA so prob start in Pensacola. Decent stats and almost a K an inning. Sure he’s on Doug’s radar for more. Looks like a good throw in. Now let’s go get Pollack!

      • Matthew

        Agreed except Pensacola is no longer the Reds’ AA affiliate. I believe it is Chattanooga now.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Disco is team controlled via arbitration thru the 2020 season. He will become a FA after the 2020 season.

  11. matt hendley

    Disco has 2y arbitration left. The Yankees have flipped Long to the Seatle for an outfield prospect. it is a 3 team trade.

  12. Klugo

    Don’t know anything about Reiver, so it’s hard to judge the trade, but I don’t see how any vantage point that includes the Yankee Stadium argument can be used by the Reds, who live in GABP. GABP is, at least as “hitter friendly”.
    I think a CompB pick sounds fairer, but I’m probably splitting hairs,

  13. Drew

    I think we’ll miss the CB draft pick more than Long. Farm has enough potential 2B prospects.

    • Shchi Cossack

      It would have been nice to utilize the competitive balance B pick from 2020 rather than the competitive balance A pick from 2019, but I don’t think that was possible and might not have been acceptable to the NYY. The good thing is the possible/probable 2019 trade deadline options in Wood, Roark, Puig, Kemp & Gennett and/or the possible QO for Wood, Puig & Gennett after the 2019 season, if any of those 3 players decline the QO and sign for more than $50MM. Those comp A picks come before the competitive balance picks after the 1st round.

    • LWBlogger2

      Does it? Hererra, Downs and Long are gone. That leaves Senzel and India (maybe). I’m ok with moving Long in the deal but our glut of second-sackers isn’t much of a surplus anymore.

  14. David

    This is kind of my dark horse opinion, but it would not surprise me if Anthony Desclafani was traded for “something else”.

    I would honestly like to have a slot open for Reed/Mahle/best candidate out of ST.

    We will likely NOT have one of Tanner Roark/Alex Wood in 2020, and we don’t want everything to fall apart in the year after next.

    Desclafani has been injury prone, too.

    • Steelerfan

      Agree with your point. Unfortunately, I don’t think we ever finished the “sorting” process with the younger starters. Gray being signed to an extension makes me feel better about the trade, but if we could move some combination of the other pitchers for an upgrade to thin the herd, I wouldn’t be against it.

    • greenmtred

      Injuries are so common among starting pitchers that I think it’s nearly a given that Mahle, Reed et al will get opportunities.

  15. SFRedsFan

    I’m hoping that part of the strategy for trading the draft pick is that they are going to go get a QO FA (Pollack?!) and they wanted to minimize the impact of that by trading the competitive balance pick ahead of time. Now the QO cost is a 3rd rounder instead of 2nd. Hoping

  16. WVRedlegs

    It is finally done. Maybe a year too long. But if you add in his 2019 salary of $7.5MM that makes it 4 years and $37.75MM plus incentives and a team option. That is a bit of a bargain over free agent prices.
    Now get one done with Alex Wood.
    At least the Reds were dealing from strengths and depth. Two 2B prospects, 1 RHP, 1 CB-A draft pick, and a good but unproven reliever as the 9nly prices to pay isn’t too shabby. And they dumped the Bailey contract onto the Dodgers.
    It could have been a much better and fruitful offseason but it hasn’t been too bad.
    If they could extend Wood, could that make DeSclafani a trade asset to float with 2 years left and very affordable? Certainly possible by July 31 if not in spring training. The rotation foundation now includes Castillo and Gray. Wood would be a logical choice to add in.
    This Sanmartin kid is something else. He pitched a 4 different levels in 2018, mostly at A ball. But in 67 IP’s he only gave up 4 BB’s and 2 HR. A lefty starter at that. That was a nice surprise to see.

    • PhP

      I think you are being a little nit picky if you call this offseason “not too bad”. I think you’re leaving out one important detail, they accomplished all these moves without giving up any top 6 prospects and only 1 of the top 10.

      Yeah they could have mortgaged the farm for a Kluber or Realmuto but I feel those deals would be shortsighted. I think any analysis of the offseason has to be seen through the lens of what they didn’t give up as well as what they acquired.

  17. LThedaug

    If I’m reading this right, and I’d like to think I am, Reiver issued FOUR walks in 67 minor league innings last year. 28 walks in 288 minor league innings. Perhaps not sustainable, but refreshing.

  18. Choo Choo Coleman

    Great trade. Long is yet another defensive liability, and a 5-foot-8 hitter does not project well in a corner OF slot. No loss there. Pick up a top starter and a prospect. Now, sign a FA pitcher, like Gio Gonzalez, and a quality CF. Find a spot in the infield for Sensel. This team projects much better. Good off-season so far. If the FO can close it out? Could be a great one.

    • DrBagel

      Who would Gio bump from the rotation? Desclafani?

      • Choo Choo Coleman

        I would think that would be the most likely spot, but create some competition in the ranks among solid pitchers. Desclafani has had so many injuries that I don’t think anyone should consider him to be healthy enough to contend, win, and hold a spot. IMO.

      • Choo Choo Coleman

        Another potential FA sign for me would be Derek Dietrich, formerly with Miami. Has a nice stick and LH bat. I think a more consistent bat that Schebler. Frees that one up for a trade. Prob can get Dietrich on a good, team-friendly deal. Don’t think Erwin or Williams should make any MLB team. Not good enough.

      • JoshG

        I’ll take Disco over Gonzalez every day of the week
        Gonzalez would be a downgrade at this point

    • PhP

      Who in the rotation would you rather have Gio for? You’d essentially be kicking one of Disco or Roark out for Gio. I’d rather have those two than him and the additional money he would cost.

    • Scottya

      I agree with your thoughts on Dietrich and the need to maximize the bench production (Ervin and williams). Except i believe dietrich is best suited as a 2b and 1b backup and that isn’t needed as much since scooter and senzel should take all 2b at bats. He’s a big defensive liability in the outfield.

    • greenmtred

      Your comment about 5’8″ corner outfielders brought “Rock” Raines to mind. Projections are worth noting, but not infallible.

    • LWBlogger2

      No thanks. I’ll take a healthy Disco over Gio any day and twice on Sundays.

      I love how people are on board the “defensively liability” train for Long. The guy is a converted catcher who has some very, very serious effort in front of him to get his footwork sorted out. It’s not like he lacks the athletic ability. Footwork issues are correctable with coaching and repetition. Long has the tools to be an above-average 2B and I think it’s unlikely that he’ll be bad enough to need to be bumped off the position. To be clear, it isn’t just this post, or even this site that is on the Long is a “defensively liability” train. I just chose to respond here.

      As for CF, the Reds will need to figure it out one way or another. If they go outside the org, they need to figure out something to make sure that Winker gets plenty of playing time. I don’t see Kemp sitting the bench nearly as much as some seem to think he might.

      • greenmtred

        I take your point about Winker’s playing time, and really hope that he gets a lot more of it than Kemp does. Kemp probably won’t be here next year–maybe not all of 2019, for that matter–while Winker could easily be one of the best hitters on good Reds teams for years to come.

  19. BearcatNation

    I like this move.

    I get that’s slightly gambling on improvement from Gray, but I just saw a 32 year old Lance Lynn get 3/30. Personally, I’d much rather have the 29 y/o Gray for a similar price when I get the potential for significant upside.

    The reds need to take smart gambles with their money. This seems like one of those. I think you try and sign Pollock now and head to ST. This is a team I can absolutely watch. This team can compete.

  20. Redsfan4life

    Outside of needing a CFer. The Reds could still use a big strike out dominate pitcher for the pen.
    I doubt Hughes or Hernandez come close to repeating last years stats.
    Maybe Garrett or Reed become that dominate guy.

    • Your4thGradeEnglishTeacher

      “dominant”, not “dominate”

      • greenmtred

        Yes, but you could go mad correcting all of our typos, mis-spellings and malapropisms.

  21. ToBeDetermined

    FOUR? Did you really say 4 walks in 67 innings.
    That’s Dennis Eckersleyish.
    and the Guys left-handed. Lefties typically have trouble throwing the ball over the plate until later in their careers, if ever. Just ask Wandy Peralta and Cody Reed.
    This guy could be interesting.

  22. Tom Mitsoff

    My two cents worth: This is it for starting pitching. Gray was once an ace, and the Reds are hoping he returns to that status while working with Derek Johnson. If that happens, they got a bargain in the contract extension.

    I doubt Pollack will be joining the Reds. I read a report earlier this week that Pollack is looking for a contract with higher annual average value (AAV) than the contract signed by Andrew McCutcheon with the Phillies. That contract was reported at three years, $50 million. I don’t see the Reds going that high for a guy with injury issues.

    • doctor

      Agree that Pollack does not seem destined for Cincy given his reported contract demands (Lorenzo Cain $$$) plus adding him would crowd the OF even more given current speculation of Senzel playing more OF, along with Winker/Puig/Kemp/Schebler.
      Plus still got Ervin around. It would seem if Reds add to OF, its a bench guy who has a good glove for CF(for example Austin Jackson/Cameron Maybin) if Reds think Ervin or Mason Williams are good enough defensively.

    • Sliotar

      Tom,

      First…nice summary up above.

      To take your point further…..

      Apparently, the Reds can’t afford/can’t attract a top SP via free agency…..reports out there indicating that this winter.

      And, the Reds track record of developing SPs is dismal…including junking a 4-year re-build and choosing Gray and Wood and Roark over further developing young arms.

      So…maybe the Reds window is starting now, in 2019. It certainly is if they sign Wood to an extension.

      The Reds are certainly improved for 2019, but Derek Johnson had better work some magic….because a rotation of Gray/Wood/Castillo/Roark/DeSclafani is still behind the rotation of the Cubs, Cardinals and probably the Pirates, too, IMO.

      (Hopefully, they don’t forget to hit more HRs now they have allegedly #gotthepitching.)

      • Tom Mitsoff

        It’s my guess that the front office will take a look at Wood for a few weeks and then decide if they want to offer an extension. I would not expect Roark to receive an extension offer unless he is unhittable over an extended stretch.

  23. HoF13

    I think there is a good chance Gray will out pitch his contract. It would not be unprecedented for the Yankees to give up on a starting pitcher who under-performed in the Bronx, only for that pitcher to do well in the uniform of a NL Central team. Think A.J. Burnett. One difference, Gray is actually in his prime. In my opinion, this contract is a risk worth taking.

    • LWBlogger2

      Good one on A.J. Burnett. That was a coup for the Pirates. Man, if Gray ends up being that kind of pickup, then the Reds gamble paid off “Big Time”.

  24. Mason Red

    Good but not great move. Overall the pitching is better on paper than the past few years but it’s possible Gray continues his downward trend. But they didn’t give up a lot for him. And at least they are doing SOMETHING.

    • doctor

      Exactly. I was about to post the same. Reds would seem to have improved the rotation for next year, which was the biggest problem area. While it was not Kluber and JA Happ type of moves I was looking/hoping for, its an upgrade and puts competition for the Reds youngster starters to do better to earn a spot. Or get more time at AAA to refine thier pitches and get coached up.

    • ToBeDetermined

      Mason
      Exactly, at least they are doing SOMETHING. That SOMETHING being attempting to address their weakest areas. They don’t have to have the very best Starting Staff. They just need guys that can keep them in games. Have a shut down bullpen an excellent offense, not have too many extensive injuries and get a little lucky.
      It could be a fun year.

  25. Steve Schoenbaechler

    If we get Dallas now, we are going to have to have a salary dump somewhere, not specific, just as example, trading off Gennett for cash or something. The thing is, we have Senzel to plug in there. We have a plan B if we trade a piece off. Which makes it possible.

    It’s either this, or that increase in payroll goes North of $140 million. Is this possible? Sure.

    I believe our trades are done, though. And, I don’t see the Reds signing Dallas now.

    Just thinking, what about trading a piece like Gennett or Suarez (not specific, I specified “piece”) and a starting pitcher like Disco or Roark, maybe a lower level prospect, for Kluber? What I’m trying to think of is, besides Castillo, I would like to keep the #5 pitcher rotation open for one of the young guns like Mahle or Stephenson to step into, where they can pitch without any pressure of being a #1 or #2 pitcher.

    Regardless, I believe we aren’t going to worry about Dallas, not with who we have for the rotation right now, not unless another move or two come up.

    Or, maybe a package like I mentioned above for a starting CF?

    • ToBeDetermined

      Steve S.

      Yes, probably won’t need to “worry about Dallas”. But, it actually puts the Reds in a better negotiating position with his agent. Basically, now we are not desperate, so here’s our offer. Now, if someone else comes in and gives him a better offer than the Reds are willing to give him then good for him.

    • doctor

      Steve,

      “…would like to keep the #5 pitcher rotation open for one of the young guns…”
      you may get that anyway given Desclafani injury history. In theory, he should be fine but that remains to be proven whether he can make 30 starts.

  26. Mondo Duke

    Well with all the average maneuvering the Reds have done, they have improved their roster. But it begs the question, in 2019 are the Reds better than:
    1. Pittsburgh? Maybe, with a big quint.
    2. St. Louis? No.
    3. Chicago? No.
    4. Milwaukee? No.
    Instead of the Reds being 35 games behind in 2019, they will be 22 games behind and still in the NL Central cellar. Hard to be too excited about that.
    Yes, we can celebrate that the Reds will be better in 2019. But they are still going to be a last place team.

    • DrBagel

      So, trading the #7 ranked prospect and a pick was supposed to move us into first place? Every move should take us closer to a wild card spot.

    • JoshG

      just looking at rosters…Reds on paper are better than Pittsburgh and Milwaukee
      St louis looks good with the addition of Goldschmidt. I hate the Cubs lol

    • Roger Garrett

      Could be and I am on the record saying we still have along way to go in the Central but with all of these new guys on one year deals the Reds can simply just redo it all over again if they chose not try to sign them to stay.Thats not a bad thing especially with help on the way from the minors.I like the glass half full vs empty because I am just tired of empty.

    • greenmtred

      Let the games begin!! The teams that project as being better than the Reds are subject to injury and disappointing performances, just as the Reds are. We won’t know how this works out until next season is well under way, and I’m also not certain that the Reds are going to stand pat now. They could make more moves this off-season, or at the trade deadline, but they look to me to be progressing toward a goal with a definite plan in place.

      • LWBlogger2

        I agree. The team is looking better and better. Look, they may still end up in 4th or last place but it won’t be unpleasant to watch. Last year was the worst in my memory banks; even more dreadful than the early 80s.

        I’m not an “all or nothing” fan. I want a team that can compete and has a good chance to win more games than it loses. That generally means that with some good breaks, the team can make a run good enough for the postseason. Once to the postseason, anything can happen.

        I haven’t done any of my projections yet but the last couple years weren’t brilliant. I was close on the NL Central however. The projections are exactly that, projections. Right now my gut says the Reds are only better than the Pirates in the Central but the gap between them and the other teams isn’t so vast.

        I think 2019 will be a setup year for 2020. There is even more pitching on the market next off-season and the Reds should have some money to spend. If a team stumbles in 2019 and the Reds excel however, the Reds may find themselves in the wildcard race. When was the last time Reds fans could realistically say that?

      • greenmtred

        And I agree. I’m less concerned with the post-season for 2019 than I am for the Reds simply being better, competitive and fun to watch. That prospect alone makes me feel optimistic for 2019. The evidence of a plan and an unexpectedly savvy FO and an evident change in philosophy and direction make me optimistic for 2020 and beyond.

  27. Brady

    I really don’t see the overpay here. I like Long, but I don’t think he’s as much of a sure thing as others in the system. The pick hurts a little, but we still have #7 and #48 overall so it isn’t like the cupboard is bare come June. I’m also high on Gray and think he will rebound in our circumstances. Sanmartin is a wildcard but his numbers look pretty solid.

    Make no mistake though, the system took a hit this offseason. Downs, Long, and Gray were all on Doug’s top 25 list and all three at various points have looked like future major leaguers. We have drafted well recently which makes that an easier pill to swallow, and we didn’t give up any top 7 guys which is awesome, but everyone sent out are legit prospects and we may feel that at some point.

    That being said, I’m particularly surprised we didn’t see an outfield prospect moved. Maybe I’m overthinking, but I think the 2B movement is a telling sign they think Scooter might re-sign next year or they aren’t overly concerned about Senzel’s vertigo. India could probably also play the middle infield in a pinch and 2B is generally easy to fill so this could be worse.

    What a great offseason. I can see the rationale in every deal made, and I don’t really have complaints about any of them. I also surprisingly do not think they’re done (though it may just be a bullpen signing) and 2019 is going to be interesting.

    FWIW, I still think Keuchel (and shhhh – Machado) could be in play if the price is right.

    • matt hendley

      remember the opportunity to replenish the Farm can be taken in we do badly by July, we certainly have multiple COntract year, worthwhile tradable individuals.

      • Brady

        If he puts up a 4.2 WAR or better again why wouldn’t you?

      • Reaganspad

        Because he is horrible defensively, we do not have DH in the NL and he won’t beat out Senzel.

        10.0 mil for a bench player is a Dodgers move, not Reds

      • LWBlogger2

        I’m not on board with resigning or extending Scooter but he isn’t exactly “horrible” defensively. He’s never been a particularly good defender but the metrics go from “crappy” to “about average” and my eye test is that he’s a below average fielder. With his bat, I can live with that at 2B. He will likely decline going into his age 32-33 seasons. At which point, I’d probably agree he’ll be a horrible defender.

    • Steve Schoenbaechler

      Also, remember, there are 2 uses for prospects: 1) To move them to the big club, and 2) tradebait. If you aren’t going to use them for #1, you can still use them for #2.

      Senzel is more of an example of this. Senzel is big league ready right now. I believe if he doesn’t see regular, “non-pine” time this year on the big club (as in, he starts and just doesn’t play mop-up or pinch hit roles), then we are wasting his talents, where we should trade him off and still get something for him.

      I mean, I can understand people wanting to hang onto Senzel because he is such a good prospect. However, if you never ever put him as a regular starter on the big club, you are wasting your money, his talents, and his value.

  28. Roger Garrett

    Works for me but I wished we had actually done a better job in finding out more about our young starters.My thoughts on pitchers coming over from the other league is that they will do better because the pitcher bats and usually there is another weak hitter in the lineup.The DH ruined baseball.Gray,barring inury will do just fine in our league because his stats say he is better then an average major league starter and I would much rather have him then Lynn at 10 mil for 3 years.I thought Long was too much for a pitcher on a one year deal but with the extension it works.Gray may arrive with a BIG APPLE chip on his shoulder as well.

  29. Old-school

    Great offseason.
    Who starts Opening Day?

    Sonny Gray v Chris Archer? Who saw that coming a year ago?

  30. matt hendley

    I think it is apparent that Dallas K has also turned down coming to Cincinnati based on non-financial matters. Gray was plan B and that is probably why we had to give up long for him. The Team as stands is worlds better than last year. WOuld not pick up GIO for more than 3M$ Guaranteed w/ incentives. Was a walk machine. WOuld leave the Rotation as is now, obviously Castillo will be allowed to develop in the rotation and Disco will have the low pressure #5 spot to prove that he is healthy. Do not waste money on Pollack. Unless Dallas has suddenly changed his mind leave remaining pickups for Bullpen improvemements and Minor league depth.

  31. WVRedlegs

    Now let’s put the cherry on top. RHP Anthony DeSclafani and RHP Robert Stephenson to Oakland for CF Ramon Laureano.

    • doofus

      Laureano played something like 48 games in the majors and you propose to trade two major league pitchers for him?

      • WVRedlegs

        Yes. And it might require an upgrade in 1 or both of the names I mentioned to get him.

      • greenmtred

        Deal from an area of strength (now) for an area of need. One of those pitchers is constantly injured, the other mostly ineffective. My (probably) minority opinion is that Reds will be hurt by poor defense in 2019. The offense may well be enough better to compensate, but a legit centerfielder would be a good thing to have.

      • Indy Red Man

        Bobsteve is a major league pitcher? I guess I missed it?

  32. Scottya

    Another well thought out move by DW and the Reds FO. Very happy with this off-season. I’m hoping there’s more to come. Frisario said reds are still in on realmuto.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I agree that the front office approach here was unique — make the trade contingent upon negotiating an extension. Dick Williams was quoted as saying he didn’t want the team to have three starting pitchers going into free agency after the season.

      I’ve been super-impressed with the front office’s performance this off-season, uncovering off-beat ways to add name players with a track record of major league success.

      • DrBagel

        I agree 100%. There seems like a long term plan that hasn’t existed for years. Hope is earned.

      • doofus

        Agree. I am curious, why has the front office seemingly changed overnight this offseason?

        Has BC finally realized that his and WJ’s influence on baseball ops were archaic and unproductive?

        Did the fan base contribute to the change through not attending games and by voicing their displeasure with the Red’s direction through social media?

  33. Tom

    Love this trade. Shed Long for Gray in a vacuum wasn’t my favorite move. But adding in the relieving prospect with a ridiculous K/BB ratio sweetens it for me.

    I’ve thought the Reds can play great with quality or near quality starts. We’d need an ACE for the playoffs but the regular season needs quality starts. We now have quality starters (assuming Yankee Stadium Gray is an anomly). We also have SP depth.

    I’d shore up the bullpen and maybe trade Kemp for a top-notch reliever – and call it a hot stove season.

  34. TR

    I like this trade. Big improvement in the front office. It took awhile but the Reds are moving forward.

  35. RedsinROC

    It would be lovely to get Kluber, Machado, and Harper, but looking at the totality of the offseason… If I would have thought on October 1, the Redlegs would add Gray, Wood, Puig, Roark, Kemp and a couple parts and give up Bailey, Rainey, Long, a couple lottery tickets, and Hamilton, with a pretty friendly contract on Gray I would have taken that in a heartbeat. (Not one for ones, of course.)

    Quibble about this guy’s a rental and that guy is a year too long, but that’s a way better team. When the competition is adding Goldschmidt, and you don’t have a snowball’s chance of getting a big name without losing your top guy, you have to do something.

    Even if they’re done for now, it’s a tip of the cap to the front office from me.

  36. DrBagel

    I wonder what the plan is for the Reds to use their rotation and their bullpen. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Reds be aggressive in their use of the bullpen. I’m excited to see if there is a change in philosophy in how the Reds approach pitching and if they’re willing to use their bullpen in higher leverage situations.

    • Shchi Cossack

      I have a great deal of confidence in DB and DJ getting intelligently creative in handling their starting rotation and bullpen. I’m actually anxious to see their efforts in that regard as we move through ST and into the season. what a change from the past 3 seasons.

  37. The Original CP

    Love the deal and I give the front office a lot of credit for what they’ve done this offseason, regardless of how it works out.

  38. REDSMAN

    Hey WV, you sure seem to have a man crush on Laureano! ?
    Seriously, from what I have read, the A’s would want more than your proposal. Do you have a scouting report on him? I have only seen highlight clips and read the stats. He seems like an exciting possibility.

    • WVRedlegs

      I have. Almost as good as Billy Hamilton defensively, and he can hit, and with a little power. He is with the A’s now, but they got him from Houston. He had one bad season in the minors and Houston parted ways. He rebounded very well with Oakland. He is only 24. Oakland has 3 or 4 OF that can play CF. They need pitching to repeat 90+ wins again.

  39. Joey

    Wonder if the Reds are ready to stand pat evaluate what they have and if in contention near the deadline trade for Thor or or another ace. That would be an interesting situation. What would you give up for Kluber or Thor at the trade deadline, what would it take?

    • Shchi Cossack

      If the Reds are seriously in contention heading into the trade deadline, I’d wager that the staff ace is already present and the top of the starting rotation is solid.

  40. Scottya

    I’m for the FO to move strongly to improve and solidify the bullpen 8 deep; At this point with all they’ve added and all the one year rentals. I’m for trading from the bullpen depth,wisler, Stephenson, Romano, etc and signing more experienced pieces to upgrade the bullpen further. Brad brach, Aaron loup, etc. there are numerous.

    Hopefully we pull off a reasonable trade for realmuto and a center fielder. We will then be best poised for a run in 19′ and better positioned for 20 – 23.

    • jim t

      If we are going for it in 2020 I do not go after a CF’er until I see how Jose Siri and Trammel finish 2019. We may already have our CF’er.

      If we can pull off a trade for Realmuto that would be icing on the cake

      • PhP

        How much would it take in terms of prospects though? You think it would be worth a combo of 2-3 top prospects/major league players to land Realmuto. He’s only under control for 3 years correct?

      • scottya

        Jim t you make a reasonable argument.

        There are some scouts that doubt that Trammel can handle center field and he’s been playing most of his time in LF in the minors. I’m also not sure we should count on either to be fully ready for the Reds 2020 playoff team ;), Siri is a possibility, but only a possibility.

        This is likely why the Reds FO is looking at trading for a CF’r. I think trading for centerfielder controlled for two years at a reasonable cost is optimal(I’d like to see Kike in Cincy Red). Maybe the Reds optimal plan is to have siri or trammell in CF for the 2021 season, but I’m not sure of that. Either will likely be ready mid 2020 if they continue to develop.

      • greenmtred

        It depends on who the CF is and what he costs. As it stands now, the Reds look like a pretty good team with some serious defensive weaknesses and no true centerfielder. If they get somebody who proves to be a good fit, then they have a nice problem when/if Trammell and/or Siri are ready. Centerfielders can generally play in the corners, too, and can also be traded to fill other areas of need. In the meantime, 2019 would look even better than it does now.

    • scottya

      Realmuto is under control for 2 years + potential 3rd year with the QO. I’m guessing that the price has dropped. Due to most teams (dodgers, astros, rays, etc) having already made moves to shore up their catching, so I doubt there will be an overpay. I continue to think that Barnhart + India + a third maybe top ten prospect (gutierrez maybe) would get Realmuto, but that is a guess based on the rumor’s I’ve read.

      IF that’s the case, we still would have 6 of our top 7 prospects still with the Reds, Senzel, Trammell, Greene, Santillan, Stephenson, Siri??

      • Scott C

        I’m not sure that the Marlins are under any compulsion to trade Reamulto. They may wait into the season and see who finds a greater need for a catcher due to injury or under performance.

      • Doug

        What is this fascination with Realmuto? I don’t get it.

    • LWBlogger2

      With all the arms the Reds currently have, I’m not a fan of spending too much on the bullpen. A guy like Andrew Miller or Ottavino or Britton would have worked but there aren’t a bunch of guys out there I’d spend money on right now. Relievers in general are hard to project year-to-year.

  41. Big Ed

    Sanmartin last year struck out 58 guys and walked only 4, which is almost impossible. He gave up 2 homers but hit 9 guys. He ended at AA last year. This will be his age 23 season.

    Those are some odd but interesting stats. The Yankees don’t really promote guys like him, so he was always trade fodder for them. Hey, Jose Rijo came up as a Yankee.

    • Shchi Cossack

      Sanmartin was no throw-in, non-prospect to try and provide some quantity balance to the trade. Sanmartin will go to Chattanooga next season with an opportunity to insert himself squarely into the conversation for the 2020 season.

      How many of the starting rotation prospects have lacked control resulting in excessive walks or excessive HR? It’s been the scourge of Cincinnati pitching since the 2015 trade deadline.

      Sanmartin pitched 10.1 innings as a 19 year old in the DOSL in 2015, then pitched 61.1 innings, 12 starts, as a 20 year old in the DOSL in 2016. Sanmartin then came stateside in 2017.

      2017 (A-/A): 66.0 IP, 0.4 HR/9, 1.2 BB/9, 6.22 SO/W
      2018 (A-/A/A+/AA): 67.1 IP, 0.3 HR/9, 0.5 BB/9, 14.50 SO/W

      Sanmartin has demonstrated solid groundball tendencies and his FIP and xFIP have supported a solid pitching performance going forward.

      • old-school

        DW said on the radio last night that they didn’t have a ton of scouting information on him, but the analytics guys really liked his numbers.

      • Old-school

        DW said last night the reds didn’t have a ton of scouting looks at him, but the analytics guys really targeted him and liked his numbers.

      • greenmtred

        Wouldn’t it be cool if, in a few years, he was seen as the true centerpiece of the trade?

  42. Shchi Cossack

    The 2018/2019 off season was an unequivocally great off season for the Reds. As a single event, every trade consummated or roster move during the off season addressed a previous problem on the roster and improved the team, but together the trades and roster moves made significant progress in improving the MLB roster and improving the outlook going forward. The prospect losses during the trades will almost certainly be recouped by the 2020 season. The current organizational prospects will have an entire year of development and improvement within a vastly superior baseball ops organization. Heading into the 2019/2020 off season the organization will have significant budget room to finish what they started during the 2018/2019 off season.

    My biggest concern heading into the 2018/2019 off season was a knee-jerk reaction by WJ & BC that resulted in a severe reduction in the quality and quantity of the minor league prospects for questionable short-term gains. BC’s early proclamations did nothing to soothe that concern. Now it looks like a modern, effective, professional baseball ops organization is quickly evolving and shedding the chains for the BC/WJ baseball ops organization that brought the Reds to its knees and nearly buried the organization as a MLB afterthought for the next 2 decades.

    • doofus

      Agree. A front office overly influenced by BC’s input seems to have finally found direction with patient professionals driven by analytics and an open-minded process to player acquisitions to improve the major league roster. Time will tell if this proves to be true.

      Or, did BC finally realize that he was a problem? Either way kudos to all.

    • PhP

      100% agree. From coach hiring to player acquisition to keeping the farm fully stocked this has been great in every facet.

    • Roger Garrett

      I agree 100%.The good old boy network appears to have incorporated,to be very blunt,some sound logic and careful thought into what had become simply put a circus type of environment masquerading as a MLB franchise.Hats off to them for righting the ship and getting it headed in the right direction.Its all good in Cincy right now.

  43. Phil

    Projections per Fangraphs for our assumed starting rotation:
    Sonny Gray – 26 starts, 2.3 fWAR
    Alex Wood – 24 starts, 1.9 fWAR
    Luis Castillo – 29 starts, 2.6 fWAR
    Anthony DeSclafani – 26 starts, 1.8 fWAR
    Tanner Roark, 24 starts, 1.4 fWAR

    That’s 129 starts worth 10 fWAR. That would leave 33 starts to some combination of Mahle, Reed, Stephenson, Romano, Lorenzen, etc. If they provide just replacement level production, 0.0 fWAR, in those starts that is now an average MLB rotation. Hopefully one of the young pitchers makes some strides though to push the 2019 rotation even further and is able to claim a spot in the 2020 rotation and beyond.

    • BigRedMike

      That would double the WAR from starters from 2018.
      In addition, it would be around 15th in MLB in 2018.

      That is a decent improvement without giving up much.

      The Reds bullpen was pretty bad last year, that is an area that can be addressed a little easier than starters. Looking at the current group of relievers, it might be a problem spot for the team going into 2019

      • PhP

        The improvement in starters should translate into fewer innings pitched from the bullpen, which should hopefully limit some of their shortcomings.

      • Phil

        Exactly. The 29th best starting rotation, in terms of fWAR, from 2016-2018 was the Chicago White Sox with 16.1 fWAR. The Reds were 30th with only 10.3 fWAR over those 3 seasons.
        The 2019 Reds rotation could be worth as many wins as the last 3 seasons combined.

  44. CFD3000

    “The current organizational prospects will have an entire year of development and improvement within a vastly superior baseball ops organization.” The Cossack buries this crucial point in another astute post. But for me this point and the extension to Gray, combined with the fact that the Reds kept all 5 of their top prospects, makes this not just a good offseason for the Reds but possibly a great one.

    I have been very concerned that so many of the new acquisitions, though talented, will be gone after 2019. But now Gray will stay, and Mahle and Reed, perhaps Romano and Garrett, and eventually Santillan and Greene, will fill the holes left by Roark and Wood. I think Reed and Mahle in particular are nearly ready to make a major contribution to the Reds rotation. It’s critical that they get to pitch. If that’s in Louisville with a system that now could nurture their skills instead of leaving them adrift, I’m good with that. And those two (and/or Romano, Garrett, Lorenzen) will be needed in Cincinnati as injuries take their inevitable toll.

    The bottom line for me is that these offseason moves make the Reds a LOT more competitive in 2019, while still preserving all the potential for 2020 and beyond. I’m excited. Pitchers and catchers in just a few weeks.

  45. TR

    The current development of the front office reminds me a lot of the 1950’s when G.M Gabe Paul strengthened the Reds farm system and built a team of sluggers that resulted in the 1961 pennant and the exciting pennant race of 1964. I think a similar trend is happening now with the Williams/Krall team.