4:55pm: There are other teams still involved, per Andy Martino of SNY.tv (Twitter link), including at least the Padres and Giants. There have been some discussions of three-team arrangements, Martino also notes.
2:33pm: The Reds are “making progress” in their talks with the Yankees regarding veteran righty Sonny Gray, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (via Twitter). It emerged yesterday that the Yanks were nearing a deal involving the starter, though multiple organizations were still said to be involved in talks.
It seems fair now to assume that the Cincinnati club is emerging as a favorite, though it’s certainly too soon to rule out alternatives. The Reds have already added a pair of starters via trade in Tanner Roark and Alex Wood. Like those hurlers, Gray is entering his final season of arbitration eligibility. He’ll earn $7.5MM after agreeing to terms with the Yankees, making him a bit less costly than the other two pitchers.
The potential return remains to be seen, and obviously hasn’t quite been nailed down. Jon Heyman of Fancred reports (Twitter links) that the organizations are still discussing different prospects — Shed Long and Tyler Stephenson among them — while a draft pick could also be part of the return. (That would have to be the Reds’ 2019 competitive balance pick, which is a valuable sandwich-round selection.)
If they can wrap up an agreement, the Reds would certainly present quite a different rotation than the ones they have trotted out in recent years. Roark, Wood, and (hypothetically) Gray all have their warts, but each has found plenty of success in the majors. It’s notable, of course, that none of those players comes with future control rights. The same is also true of recently acquired outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp. The Reds evidently prefer one-year commitments at this time, allowing them the chance to reevaluate their future needs after the conclusion of the 2019 season.