Sonny Gray New York Yankees
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Cincinnati has a long-term craving for Pickles, as they won’t take Sonny Gray from the New York Yankees unless he signs an extension.

Aaron Case

New York Yankees fans thought they were finally rid of Sonny Gray. However, the almost-finalized deal to send the righty to the Reds has hit a wall.

Per Fancred’s Jon Heyman, the trade will only work out if it’s always Sonny in Cincinnati by Monday night:

Gray just signed a one-year, $7.5 million deal to avoid arbitration, and he’ll be a free agent after the 2019 season. Cincinnati wants to make sure they get multi-year value in exchange for prospect Shed Long, who is reportedly the main return for the Bombers if the trade goes through.

Long, 23, is Cincy’s numbers seven prospect. He’s a second baseman with power who has slashed .272/.353/.435 in six minor league seasons.

The Yankees could also receive another prospect and a draft pick. But that all depends on negotiations between the Reds and Gray’s agent.

Heyman also tweeted some interesting thoughts about why the extension is likely to get done:

Such insight is music to many Yankees fans’ ears, as Gray has failed to deliver during his time in the Bronx. The 29-year-old is 15-16 with a 4.51 ERA in pinstripes, after posting a 3.42 ERA and going 44-36 for Oakland.

Brian Cashman began the offseason by putting Gray up for sale, and Cincinnati was one of the first teams interested. But talks for Gray quickly stalled when Cashman asked for the Reds’ high-level prospect Taylor Trammell.

Then, CC Sabathia had an emergency heart surgery, prompting speculation that the Yankees would hold onto Gray as a replacement. However, the hefty lefty is all set to go for spring training, so keeping Gray is no longer necessary.

A change to Cincinnati might do Gray’s MLB career some good. Whether or not he agrees could be clear by the end of business hours on Monday.

Freelance editor and writer, and full-time Yankees fan. Originally from Monticello, NY, but now lives in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.