The NL Central keeps getting better this offseason.
According to multiple reports, the Reds have traded for pitcher Sonny Gray from the Yankees.
Sonny Gray has been traded to the Cincinnati Reds, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 21, 2019
Second base prospect Shed Long is headed to the Yankees as part of the return for Sonny Gray, league sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 21, 2019
The Reds have been active this offseason and adding a former all-star to their rotation would be another big step towards turning the Reds into contenders in what is shaping up to be a very tough NL Central in 2019. They already added Alex Wood, Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp in a blockbuster deal with the Dodgers.
Gray is 29 and has a career ERA of 3.66, but isn't coming off a good year. With the Yankees he had a 4.90 ERA, the second-highest of his career, and didn't pitch in the postseason. The last time Gray had a bad year, he bounced back. Gray had a 5.69 ERA in 2016, the year after his breakout all-star campaign in 2015, but was solid in 2017 with the A's and Yankees.
Coming off a 95-loss season, the Reds had a long way to go, but look to be improved on paper with those additions.
Elsewhere in the division, the Cardinals already added Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew Miller and the defending division champion Brewers added marquee free agent catcher Yasmani Grandal.
Meanwhile, it has been mostly crickets for the Cubs this offseason. Owner Tom Ricketts recently defended the team's financial situation, which has led to the team appearing to be less aggressive this winter.
It looks like the Cubs will face increased competition in the division this season. Will that force the team's hand to be more aggressive before spring training?