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Mariners get 2B prospect Shed Long from Yankees minutes after he was traded from Reds

The Mariners have added second base prospect Shed Long in a trade with the Yankees. (AP)

The Mariners were said to be interested in a Sonny Gray trade earlier this offseason, but it seemed like those rumors were over with when the Reds emerged as the victor in the sweepstakes for the Yankees starting pitcher.

Dipoto says Mariners will see if Shed Long can ‘move around the field’

Well, never count Jerry Dipoto out. Even if he didn’t bring Gray to Seattle, he was still involved in the trade sending Gray from the Bronx to Cincinnati.

The Mariners have acquired prospect Shed Long, who went from the Reds to the Yankees in the Gray trade earlier Monday, for Seattle’s 2018 second-round draft pick, Josh Stowers. That essentially makes the Gray deal a three-way trade: Gray from New York to Cincinnati, Stowers from Seattle to New York, a draft pick from Cincinnati to New York, and Long from Cincinnati to Seattle.

To make room for Long on the 40-man roster, Seattle designated infielder/right-handed pitcher Kaleb Cowart for assignment.

The 23-year-old Long is a left-handed hitter who was originally drafted as a catcher in 2013 and was MLB.com’s sixth-ranked second base prospect in 2018. He hit .261 with 12 home runs, 56 RBIs, 19 stolen bases and a .353 on-base percentage in 126 games with Double-A Pensacola last year.

Long is closer to Major League-ready than the 21-year-old Stowers, who hit .260 with five home runs, 28 RBIs, 20 stolen bases and a .380 on-base percentage in 58 games with Short-Season A Everett last year, his first professional season out of the University of Louisville.

Cowart, a former first-round pick who is attempting to become a two-way player, was picked up earlier this offseason by the Mariners from the Angels.

Long’s Monday is reminiscent to one current Mariners outfielder Mallex Smith had just over two years ago. That was when the Mariners acquired Smith in a trade with Atlanta, then flipped him to Tampa Bay less than two hours later. To complete the full Mallex Smith experience, however, Long would need to be traded back to New York after the 2020 season.

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