By Jon Heyman
The Oakland A’s and New York Yankees have continued to talk about star pitcher Sonny Gray, and Oakland has come off of Clint Frazier and Gleyber Torres, enhancing the chances the two teams could make a deal.
The Yankees, a first-place, big-market team with an excellent prospect list, seem to be in a decent position to land the pitcher they most covet — though it isn’t known how aggressive the other interested teams are.
Several teams have called on Gray, with the Dodgers and Astros among contending teams with the prospects to get it done. However, it’s possible the Dodgers may have Yu Darvish, whose chances to be traded are increasing, as high or higher on their list, and the Astros (and for that matter the Dodgers), also have their sights set on star closer Zach Britton. It was first reported here that L.A. eyed Britton, but the Dodgers’ interest may have shifted a bit with new concern for ace starter Clayton Kershaw.
It’s pretty clear Gray heads the Yankees’ preferred list, but New York has looked into several other rentals in case it doesn’t pan out with Oakland. They’ve talked about Darvish, Lance Lynn, Jaime Garcia and Dan Straily, as well.
Well beyond Torres and Frazier, the Yankees have coveted prospects Justus Sheffield, James Kaprielian, Jorge Mateo, Estevan Florial and many others. So there could still be a deal to be made.
Gray’s value is enhanced by a reasonable (sub-$4M) salary and two years to go before free agency, which means the A’s aren’t pressured to trade him now, either. Jerry Crasnick first reported the A’s had lowered their price after it was reported here that the A’s originally sought Torre or Frazier.