Oakland A’s righty Sonny Gray has been a popular name on the rumor circuit for what seems like years (actually, it doesn’t just seem like years – it has been a couple of them). At long last, most finally believe this is the time he’s actually traded.
After putting together a stretch of quality starts and relative health, with arbitration raises looming, it seems that now is the best time for the A’s to cash in on Gray’s value as they enter into (extend? re-start?) a period of rebuilding.
To that end, a number of teams have been connected to Gray this trade season, most prominently the Yankees, Brewers, and Astros at various times. The Cubs were among the first teams connected to Gray, but they since acquired Jose Quintana, using two of their top prospect assets to do so.
Joel Sherman writes that no one is quite sure where Gray will be going, but has heard the Yankees are the front-runner, with one official identifying the Cubs, Braves, and Dodgers as “stealth” teams. The Brewers and Astros also come in for mention. Writing separately, Sherman points out that the price tag on Gray is very high, as you’d expect, given his presence as the best pitcher on the market with years of control beyond 2017.
That is all to reiterate that the market for Gray is broad and murky. It seems highly unlikely that the Cubs could acquire Gray at this point with only prospects, and if it thus requires big league talent, the Cubs may elect not to go that route given Gray’s injury history.
Then again, Jon Morosi reports, like Sherman, that Gray is expected to be traded by Monday’s deadline, and lists the Cubs as an “active suitor.” The other active suitors, according to Morosi, are the Yankees, Dodgers, and Astros.
It’s not as if Gray would not be a further boon to the Cubs’ rotation this year, and the need beyond this season in the rotation, even after the addition of Quintana, is clear. But would the Cubs part with Ian Happ or Albert Almora or Javy Baez in a deal for Gray? How much more would Gray cost? Should the Cubs even go that route at this time?
I like Gray. I like the fit for the Cubs this year, and in the next two years that Gray is controlled. But I don’t know that they should be chopping up the big league roster at this time to bring in Gray.