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MLB Roundup 1/19: Sonny Gray trade moving closer

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New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Sonny Gray trade getting closer?

There are rarely certainties on MLB’s trade market — the fact that J.T. Realmuto may in fact still be a Marlin at the start of the year is a good example of that — but if there was anything close to a certainty this year it would be the Yankees dealing Sonny Gray. The former Oakland ace who has struggled in his time in pinstripes is still with the Yankees as of now, but Brian Cashman has been surprisingly honest with his desire to move the righty. While there was no substantial news around the league on Friday, there were plenty of rumors about Gray trades moving closer. Right now, the frontrunner appears to be the Reds, who are trying to add some pieces and make a surprise run at contention in 2019. As Rosenthal notes in a reply to the linked tweet above, Cincinnati pitching coach Derek Johnson was Gray’s pitching coach at Vanderbilt in his college days. The exact return isn’t quite clear, but prospects Shed Long and Tyler Stephenson have been mentioned as possibilities. Andy Martino of SNY also mentions that the Yankees haven’t shut down talks with other clubs either, with the Padres and Giants still in active discussions. One thing that seems clear: A trade should be coming soon.

Yankees pursuing Nolan Arenado?

In a rumor that seems specifically designed to make me mad online, Martino also wrote a column saying the Yankees could be shifting their focus from Manny Machado to Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. It’s not clear whether or not they would be working to trade for the star Rockies third baseman this winter or during the 2019 season, but it seems they have their eyes on him. It’s not entirely surprising, as Arenado is set to hit free agency after next season and there have been whispers of the Yankees interest in him. It’s strange that they’d prefer him over Machado given the couple-year age advantage in Machado’s favor, but Arenado is obviously a Capital-S Superstar as well. He also happens to be perhaps my favorite non-Red Sox player in the game, so this news bums me out a bit.