Yankees fans ready to celebrate a Sonny Gray trade need to wait before popping their champagne. The deal with the Reds may fall apart.
Just when it seemed that Brian Cashman was finally going to get rid of Sonny Gray, an issue has popped up that may nix the potential trade between the Yankees and Reds. Both teams have agreed on what assets need to be exchanged, but Cincinnati’s inability to get Gray to agree to a contract extension may kill the deal.
According to Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees granted the Reds an exclusive 72-hour negotiating window with the enigmatic right hander. The hope was that Cincinnati could come to terms with Gray pretty quickly. After all, the pitcher is very anxious to find a new home where he can rejuvenated his failing career.
That deadline will end on Monday. It’s unclear exactly how the Yankees will move forward if they can’t complete a deal with the Reds before then. There are several reasonable options for Cashman and company.
It’s always possible the Yankees and Reds could simply agree to make the deal without Gray signing an extension. That would force Cincinnati to gamble on a pitcher who will enter free agency next winter, but it would also give them a better chance to evaluate him before throwing long-term dollars in his direction. Clearly the Reds would prefer to security of an extension, but there are positives to acquiring him on a one-year deal as well.
If the Reds aren’t comfortable with that scenario, look for the Yankees to move quickly to the next best package available to them. Presumably, New York chose to negotiate with Cincinnati because they made the best offer. That doesn’t mean it was the only offer. Quite a few teams have been linked with strong interest in Gray throughout the process. It’s very possible the Reds’ hesitation could lead the Yankees to accept their second favorite package for Gray.
No matter what happens with the Yankees and Reds, expect Gray to find a new home very soon. Cashman is a very motivated seller and Cincinnati has shown the rest of MLB what an acceptable package for Gray looks like. Yankees fans should be free of their least favorite player very soon.