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  • 10 Jun
    As a division rival looks elsewhere for pitching
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    , the Brewers are still checking in on a longtime
    target"Brewers general manager David Stearns has been interested in Sonny Gray
    for a long time, and that interest hasn’t waned dispite the departure of Gray’s
    former college pitching coach, according to the latest reports.Jon Morosi says
    the Brewers are still a “prominent” part of trade talks for the former All-Star
    who’s all but guaranteed to be traded out of the Bronx this winter.Stearns’
    interest in Gray goes all the way back to the trade deadline in 2017, when the
    right-hander was still with Oakland. Stearns refused to give up Lewis Brinson in
    those initial trade talks, and Gray went to the New York Yankees instead. But
    after all of that deadline excitement, Gray’s tenure in pinstripes has ended up
    more like A.J. Burnett than C.C. Sabathia.Despite increasing his strikeout rates
    in the Bronx, he’s seen an ERA a full run higher than it was in Oakland (4.51
    with the Yankees, 3.42 in 5 years with the A’s). A big part of that is an
    increase in his home run rate -- 1.1 per 9 innings with the Yankees, as opposed
    to 0.8 per 9 before -- which is likely to be expected with a move from one of
    the most pitcher-friendly ballparks in the AL to one of the most
    hitter-friendly.Things didn’t get any better when Gray was caught by cameras
    laughing as the Bronx booed him off the mound this past season. He ended the
    year getting pulled from the starting rotation and pitching out of the bullpen.
    While results were better there, Yankees GM Brian Cashman all but announced he
    was going to have to trade Gray this year, saying it would be “best for everyone
    involved” if Gray pitched somewhere other than New York.It seemed like a lot of
    the Brewers’ continued interest in Gray was rooted in the fact that they were
    employing his former Vanderbilt pitching coach -- Derek Johnson. Once Johnson
    took an offer he couldn’t turn down in
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    , that connection followed and it was speculated the Reds
    were interested. As Morosi notes, that’s likely cooled off after they traded for
    two other starters this month in Tanner Roark and Alex Wood.Gray is slated to
    make about $10 million this year in arbitration, which is another motivating
    factor for the Yankees to move him -- especially if they hope to clear payroll
    room to sign someone like Manny Machado. That salary may be tough to fit into
    the expected Brewers’ budget of $110 million or so, but that may be a better
    investment than trying to sign a starting pitcher on the free agent market, even
    if Gray is set to become a free agent at the end of the year.Statistics courtesy
    of Baseball-Reference CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Months before the start of spring
    training, the New York Yankees‘ injury list is lengthening.Catcher Gary Sanchez
    had surgery on his left shoulder Thursday, which could slow him during spring
    training but is not likely to keep him out of the lineup on opening day.“His
    shoulder has bothered him off and on since ’17,” Yankees general manager Brian
    Cashman said Wednesday. “He’s been treated conservatively with it. He had an
    injection towards the end of ’17. He had two in ’18. He just resumed workouts
    and still felt a little bit lingering from it.”Cashman made the announcement at
    the general managers’ meetings, hours after the Yankees finalized an $8 million,
    one-year contract with CC Sabathia. The 38-year-old left-hander said 2019 will
    be his final season.New York announced last month that Didi Gregorius will miss
    much of next season after Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in the
    shortstop’s right elbow.An All-Star in 2017 who slumped badly this
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    , Sanchez felt continued shoulder pain while working out
    last week at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Florida, with strength
    and conditioning coach Matt Krause.“He said things are going well, but my
    shoulder is still cranky. It’s still lingering in there,” Cashman said. “So it’s
    just enough complaints, too many over the course of a year-and-half now.”Head
    team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad performed a debridement at New
    York-Presbyterian Hospital to remove loose debris from Sanchez’s non-throwing
    shoulder. The recovery is expected to be about three months.Sanchez, 25, hit
    .299 with 20 homers and 42 RBIs two years ago, when he impressed during a
    call-up in the season’s final two months, and he was an All-Star in 2017 who hit
    .278 with 33 homers and 90 RBIs in 122 games. But he slumped to a .186 with 18
    homers and 53 RBIs in 89 games this year, when he was limited by a groin
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    and his defense was poor for the second straight year.“It may very well have
    been something that affected him performance-wise. I can’t rule that out,”
    Cashman said.Sabathia went 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts this year. He met
    with Cashman in the Yankees clubhouse the day after New York’s season ended.“He
    said, ‘Cash I want to play again. I will play somewhere else if I have to. But I
    don’t want to play anywhere else. I’m a Yankee. I want to end as a Yankee. Next
    year is my last year, but I am going to play and I’m hoping it’s here.'”A
    six-time All-Star and the 2007 AL Cy Young Award winner, Sabathia is 246-153 in
    18 major league seasons with a 3.70 ERA and 2,986 strikeouts, including 129-80
    in a decade with the Yankees. He took a $2 million paycut.“It’s certainly not
    simple negotiating with someone you have a great deal of respect for and you’re
    dealing with lesser dollars,” Cashman said. “Those are not easy conversations to
    have.”