Gray details wild lead-up to trade, extension

January 24th, 2019

CINCINNATI -- New Reds pitcher knew all winter the Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman were trying to deal him. But once momentum happened in talks between the two clubs last week, things moved very quickly.
Gray described the fast-moving process to MLB Network's Hot Stove on Thursday morning.
"It was nuts, I'm not going to lie. It was crazy," Gray said. "I got a phone call from Cashman. He was very transparent with me throughout the whole process. It was kind of long and drawn out a little, but he was very transparent with me, which was nice on his part and really all I could ask for."
Gray: Joining Reds 'just felt right the whole time' | Gray can't wait for more Skyline Chili
The Reds -- led by president of baseball operations Dick Williams and general manager Nick Krall -- told Cashman they would only do a trade for Gray if he would sign a contract extension. He had already come to terms on a one-year, $7.5 million deal to avoid arbitration with New York, but he could be a free agent after the 2019 season.
Cincinnati, which traded for and Alex Wood when both are also a year from free agency, didn't want to have three starters on one-year deals.
"I came back to them and said I would be willing to do that not knowing if it was going to happen or not," Gray said. "The next day, he called back and said, 'We've agreed on a trade with the Cincinnati Reds. Now the next step is you have 72 hours to negotiate a contract extension because the trade is dependent on the extension.'"
With the deadline on talks with Gray set to expire on Monday, Gray flew to Arizona on Sunday and went for a physical at the Reds' complex in Goodyear. While waiting in the offices, he still did not know if his agent had worked out a deal. As it happened, Williams was in Goodyear for other reasons over the weekend.

Williams met face to face with Gray and pitched the Reds and their plans to him. Meanwhile, back at his house in Nashville, Tenn., Gray and his wife were supposed to be hosting people for a cookout and watching the NFL playoffs on Sunday.
"I just went 'M.I.A.' I couldn't tell anybody about it," Gray said. "They were like, 'Where's Sonny?' They did not know that I was literally on a plane to Arizona."
It all worked out in the end. Gray passed his physical and signed a three-year, $30.5 million extension through the 2022 season, with a $12 million club option for '23. The Reds acquired him and Minor League left-hander Reiver Sanmartin for second-base prospect and a 2019 Competitive Balance Round A Draft pick.
Worth noting
• The Reds have brought back John Farrell to be a pitching consultant. Farrell, the former Red Sox manager and pitching coach, spent last season as a scout and advisor for Cincinnati and interviewed for the managerial vacancy that went to David Bell.
• Rolando Valles was named associate coach to Bell's staff on Thursday. Valles spent the past 11 seasons working in the Brewers' player development system, including a stint as a liaison to its Latin players.