Posted on July 17, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
The summer trade season is finally starting to heat up, putting quite a few prominent players on the trade block. With Jose Quintana already on the move, the next best starting pitcher who’s likely to be dealt is Oakland A’s ace Sonny Gray. The A’s appear to be tearing everything down and rebuilding (yes, again), and so Gray has become one of the most likely starting pitcher to be moved at the deadline. Of course, there is no shortage of suitors for Gray, who has started to pitch well after a sluggish start. Here’s a prediction of what team is most likely to land Gray before the trade deadline.
Astros – 20%
The Astros were linked to Quintana for a long time, so they could be quick to move on to Gray as their Plan B. Houston’s rotation has been good this year, especially Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers. But they have also been stung by injuries, so depth has been an issue at times. On top of that, Gray becoming the no.3 starter, with Collin McHugh working his way back from injury, could give the Astros a rotation capable of winning the pennant.
Blue Jays – 5%
The Blue Jays aren’t exactly bonafide buyers, but they are also looking ahead to next season. The fact that Gray has two more years of arbitration after this season could be enough to get Toronto involved.
Braves – 5%
The Braves are in a similar position to Toronto. They may not be contenders this season, but they could use a frontline starter like Gray for next year and beyond. The Braves undoubtedly have the prospects to trade for a pitcher of Gray’s caliber, and there have been reports of the Atlanta being in the market for an ace to lead their staff. The Braves could be a dark horse for Gray.
Brewers – 20%
The Brewers have a legitimate shot at reaching the playoffs, and Gray could be quite useful to a rotation that is missing Chase Anderson and has been fairly average thus far. The fact that Gray is under contract beyond this year makes him both a short-term and long-term asset. It’s also important to note that Milwaukee has a strong farm system and has reportedly done background work on Gray.
Cubs – 5%
There are reports that the Cubs are still interested in Gray, even after trading for Quintana. Of course, after trading two of their top prospects in order to get Quintana, the Cubs may not have the prospects to also trade for Gray.
Dodgers – 10%
With Clayton Kershaw at the top of the rotation, Alex Wood having a phenomenal season, and Rich Hill finally healthy and pitching well, the Dodgers don’t necessarily need rotation help. That being said, the team’s postseason disappointments in recent seasons may have the club looking for any edge they can get. A bullpen acquisition is more likely, but the Dodgers will stop at nothing to reach a World Series, and so they can’t be ruled out of the Gray sweepstakes.
Indians – 10%
Cleveland’s rotation has not quite lived up to expectations, and so they may actually entertain the idea of adding a starter at the deadline. The latest reports suggest that the Indians are evaluating Gray, and so he’s definitely on their radar. After falling one game short of a championship last year, the Indians are hungry for a title, and so if they were to acquire a starter, it would likely be a frontline pitcher like Gray.
Nationals – 10%
Washington has started to improve its dreadful bullpen through a trade with the A’s, and so they could look to do the same to its starting rotation. The Nationals are more likely to add a back end starter than an expensive piece like Gray. However, Washington’s window to compete for a World Series is closing, so they could go all-in by adding Gray to their rotation.
Red Sox – 5%
The Red Sox are hungry for a championship, and so they could be interested in adding a frontline starter like Gray to make it happen. There’s not a huge need in Boston for another starter, but a hard-throwing righty could be a great complement to the left-handed trio of Chris Sale, David Price, and Eduardo Rodriguez in the postseason.
Royals – 5%
All the evidence points to the Royals going for it in 2017. The rotation has been average at best for the Royals this year, at least outside of Jason Vargas, and so they could use a pitcher like Gray to help them secure a postseason spot. There are reports that the Royals are determined to add starting pitching at the deadline, and so they could be a dark horse to land Gray.
Yankees – 5%
With Michael Pineda needing Tommy John surgery, the Yankees could use a rotation boost right about now. It’s also important to note that both Pineda and C.C. Sabathia are unlikely to be in New York’s starting rotation next year. The Yankees have been hesitant to part with many of the prospects in their loaded farm system. However, knowing that Gray could help out this year and for two more years beyond this year could persuade the Bronx Bombers to take a run at acquiring Gray.