Even after the acquisition of Jose Quintana, and even after the acquisitions of Justin Wilson/Alex Avila, you could lay out the argument for adding another cost-controlled starting pitcher at this time, if this is when that pitcher is available.
That’s the case with Sonny Gray, and although that would crowd the rotation right now, it would be an immediate upgrade, and, more importantly, would provide the Cubs more rotation certainty in the next two years.
HOWEVA, Gray is a very valuable trade asset for the A’s, who will want a sizable haul of prospects/players. Having graduated and traded so many youngsters, the Cubs are far from an ideal trade partner if they’re not going to dip in their big league talent pool (and they’ve given no indication that they will).
cubs, who never quit, are one more that's checked in on sonny gray. but price appears "too steep"
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 31, 2017
It’s easy enough to read between those lines: the Cubs have kept tabs, the A’s have insisted in big league piece(s), and the Cubs aren’t going to do that.
C’est la via, and it’ll be interesting to see where Gray goes.