Each and every time a team has their season end, whether it be at the end of 162 games or in the postseason at some level, brand spankin’ new rumors abound. That’s no different this year, of course, and as the MLB playoffs have eliminated all but four teams, the news from the other 26 clubs around the league is picking up.
Take the New York Yankees, for instance. Just a year and a half removed from trading Top 100 overall prospects Dustin Fowler and James Kaprelian to Oakland to land starter Sonny Gray, it appears the Bronx Pinstripers are already ready to move on from the righthander. Gray ‘struggled’ to a 4.90 ERA and 4.17 FIP with the Yankees in 2018, even losing his spot in the rotation (and his spot on the roster for the playoffs) in the process. He’s got just one year remaining of team control with a projected 2019 salary in the ~$9 million range, as MLB Trade Rumors noted earlier, and given his excellent numbers in all parks not named Yankee Stadium, there’s a chance he’s still got a bit of life left in his arm, too. If he is anything close to the pitcher he was when in Oakland, he’d serve as a major upgrade to the Cincinnati rotation, for sure - heck even the numbers he ‘struggled’ through this year with the Yankees would’ve bested almost every starter on the current Reds roster in some regard, Luis Castillo (by FIP) included. Not to mention, he’s a Nashville native and Vandy product, so he might even like the idea of getting back closer to his home.
Speaking of upgrading the pitching staff - not that we ever long for that around here, or anything - the idea that the Arizona Diamondbacks might look to move former Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke as they begin a rebuild is one that’s gaining steam, and Reds Minor Leagues’ Doug Gray explored that idea in earnest earlier today. Given that Greinke is due over $30 million per season for the next three years, it would be one of the larger moves of financial commitment we’ve seen in recent years, with the Justin Verlander trade to Houston just last year on a similar scale, as (Doug, not Sonny) Gray notes. The massive Boston/Dodgers deal that included Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford moved mountains of cash, as did the deal to send Troy Tulowitzki from Colorado to Toronto, so these kinds of things do happen from time to time, but it would take a calculator to calculate the number of calculators needed to process that deal. Still, Greinke would serve as a major upgrade for the putrid Reds rotation, even if he’s entering the old as dirt decline phase of his career.
To back up a few days, the Reds made a pair of acquisitions earlier in the week, too. They picked up pitcher Ryan Lillie from the Miami Marlins in a deal centered around international bonus pool money that the Reds cannot spend this year, and the Reds then claimed catcher Juan Graterol off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. Lillie, 22, is a former 5th round draftee from UC-Riverside and posted a rather promising 3.44 ERA across three levels in 2018, topping out at A+ on the season. As for Graterol, he’s been plucked off waivers five times since December of 2016, with a trade and a release on his ledger in that span, too - and, if you recognize the name, that’s because the Reds were the first of those five teams to claim him some two years ago to begin his baseball odyssey, and are now the fifth team, too. Graterol, 29, has a career .501 OPS in 111 big league PA, and will probably be claimed off waivers from the Reds by someone else before you even need to remember this paragraph again.
The front office is still interviewing dudes for the team’s managerial opening, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon noted yesterday. Dudes, all of them. So many dudes. One dude, though, will be head dude in the dugout for the Reds by the end of October, they assure us.
If you’re looking for Reds news, want to give your eyes a break, and are willing to let your ears do the work, catch up on the latest Nick Senzel news on the newest episode of the Redleg Nation Radio Podcast, whydoncha. Speaking of which, I’ll be rebooting the Red Reporter Podcast this offseason, I assure you.
Friend of the blog Dan Szymborski updated his ZiPS playoff probabilities, but I don’t see the Cincinnati Reds listed anywhere in the post. Typo, I assume. The Dodgers and Brewers drop the puck on the NLCS tonight, by the way.
To put a wrap on this here Reposter, we’ll turn to another friend of the blog in Grant Brisbee, who has a look at how those same Brewers are in the NLCS when it felt like just a minute ago they were rebuilding alongside our dear Reds. What’s of particular interest in this particular piece, particularly, is how Brisbee emphasizes that the Brewers didn’t do what the entire baseball world thought was what they obviously should do last offseason - invest in starting pitching, since that was seemingly their illness. Instead, they doubled down on their position player core, added fringe pitching that has flourished unsuspectingly, and c) profited. I’m not saying that the Reds are in the exact same position this time around, but I’m not not saying there aren’t not similarities in abundance, either.