The Reds have been in contact with the Yankees regarding a potential trade for Gray, John Boyle of the Dayton Daily News reports. There's no elaboration whether there was significant progress, let alone even an offer, but that's to be expected. Of note, new Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson was also Gray's pitching coach at Vanderbilt.
General manager Brian Cashman said Gray "has got a good makeup, I just don't think this is the right spot for him," Matt Ehalt of The Bergen Record reports. Cashman also said "it's been a year and a half, I'm not going to be Sisyphus pushing the rock up a hill and having it roll back on top of me. It's not working," Erik Boland of Newsday reports. Gray has not met expectations since being acquired by the Yankees at the 2017 July trade deadline, especially struggling this season with a 4.90 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and career-high 9.8 percent walk rate. The soon-to-be 29-year-old is eligible for the final year of arbitration in 2019, but the Yankees could simply decline to tender him a contract -- which would make Gray a free agent. Trade possibilities are likely to be explored, as well.
Gray (11-9) allowed one run on two hits and a walk across two innings to earn the win Monday against the Rays. He struck out two. Gray was actually the third Yanks pitcher of the night in a bullpen game, working the third and fourth innings and earning the win after his side took the lead in the top of the fifth. Despite the victory, he has been a bit shaky over his last three outings, allowing four earned runs while allowing 15 baserunners across nine total innings. Gray should close out the season in a long relief role and seems unlikely to provide much fantasy value the rest of the way.
Gray (10-9) allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits in a loss to the Twins on Tuesday, recording two strikeouts and three walks in three innings. The runs against Gray came in the third inning on a passed ball and a two-run single by Jake Cave as Gray needed 63 pitches (36 strikes) to get through three innings. This was Gray's second start since Aug. 2 (the last start coming Aug. 25), and he's made five appearances out of the bullpen in that span. This appears to be a spot start for the right-hander and it seems likely he'll be returning to the bullpen going forward.
Gray is listed as the Yankees' probable starter for Tuesday's game against the Twins, Pete Caldera of The Bergen Record reports. Gray was relegated to the bullpen after struggling significantly as a starter earlier this season, but he's been excellent in relief as of late. Over his last 19.2 innings out of the bullpen, the right-hander produced a 1.83 ERA and a 17:7 K:BB. Since Gray has covered four innings or fewer in six of his last seven outings, he'll likely face some sort of pitch limit as he transitions back to a starting role in what will likely be a short-term move. The Yankees haven't announced plans to bump another starter to the bullpen, so it appears Gray will be just making a temporary spot start to give each member of the rotation an additional day of rest.