Sonny Gray is receiving the change of scenery he coveted, shipped to the Reds on Monday afternoon as part of a three-way trade that resulted in the Yankees' acquisition of outfield prospect Josh Stowers from the Mariners.
Thirteen weeks after general manager Brian Cashman candidly said he was "open-minded" to trading Gray, Cincinnati sent infield prospect Shed Long and a 2019 Competitive Balance Round A pick to the Yankees in exchange for Gray and Minor League left-hander Reiver Sanmartin.
The Yankees announced today that they have acquired 2B Shed Long and a Competitive Balance Round A pick in the 2019 MLB First-Year Player Draft from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for RHP Sonny Gray and LHP Reiver Sanmartín.— Yankees PR Dept. (@YankeesPR) 21 de enero de 2019
The Bombers then flipped Long for Stowers, who was Seattle's second-round selection (54th overall) in last year's MLB Draft and was rated as the Mariners' No. 10 prospect by MLB Pipeline.
With Gray granted a 72-hour window to negotiate with the Reds, all pieces of the trade were contingent upon the hurler reaching an extension by Monday. Gray agreed to a three-year, $30.5 million pact with Cincinnati that will cover 2020-22, with a club option for '23 at $12 million.
The 23-year-old Long was rated as the Reds' No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, having starred this past season at Double-A Pensacola. The Yankees are more intrigued by Stowers, a right-handed product out of the University of ,Louisville who made his professional debut with Class A Short-Season Everett last summer.
In 58 games, Stowers batted .260/.380/.410 with 15 doubles, five homers, 28 RBIs and 20 stolen bases, while being named a Northwest League Midseason All-Star. The Chicago product will turn 22 next month and, unlike Long, does not have to be carried on the Yankees' 40-man roster.
Gray, 29, was a celebrated acquisition from the Athletics in July 2017, when he was obtained with international bonus slot money in exchange for prospects James Kaprielian, Jorge Mateo and Dustin Fowler, but Gray endured a bumpy tenure in pinstripes.
In 41 games (34 starts) over his 1 1/2 seasons in New York, Gray compiled a record of 15-16 with a 4.51 ERA and did not appear on the roster for last year's American League Division Series against the Red Sox. Gray struggled in particular at Yankee Stadium, where he owns a 6.35 ERA in 95 career innings.
The Yanks halted trade discussions when CC Sabathia underwent an angioplasty in December. Sabathia was subsequently cleared to resume baseball activities and is expected to serve as the fifth starter behind Luis Severino, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ.
Gray appeared at an awards banquet last week in Nashville, Tenn., telling The Tennessean that while he had not spoken to Yankees brass since the end of the season, he was aware of the ongoing trade rumors.
"Ultimately, you want to play somewhere where you're wanted," Gray told the newspaper.