The Milwaukee Brewers have been rumored to be on the market for starting pitching for some time now. It’s been well known this offseason that the Yankees plan to trade away Sonny Gray.
Back in 2017, the Milwaukee Brewers were rumored to be after Sonny Gray when he was on the trade block from Oakland during the July trade season. But Oakland desired Lewis Brinson and the Brewers turned them down, opening the door for Gray to be traded to the Yankees. That has backfired horribly for New York.
Since the beginning of the offseason, the Yankees have made clear their intention to trade Sonny Gray this winter after he posted a 6.98 ERA in Yankee Stadium this year.
According to Jon Morosi, the Brewers are a prominent player in the discussions for Gray this winter.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 28, 2018
It’s unclear how many other teams remain in the mix but the division rival Reds seem to have pulled back in their pursuit.
What Could Gray Cost?
There were rumors earlier this offseason that the Yankees asked the Reds for prospect Taylor Trammell in discussions for Gray. Trammell is the Reds second best prospect, and MLB Pipeline ranks him as the 17th best prospect in baseball. So the Brewers equivalent is them asking for Keston Hiura.
The answer to that from the Reds and what it would be from the Brewers is a swift “no”. But the Yankees are desperate to move Gray and have likely brought their price down far enough for the Brewers to jump back into the mix. Milwaukee was included in early rumors surrounding Gray, but not recently.
As far as what Gray would cost in a trade, it would likely be either a mid-level prospect or two low-level prospects. Perhaps the Brewers could send someone like Trent Grisham straight up for Gray.
The Yankees are going to get as much as they possibly can for Gray, but they won’t get the high return they’re hoping for. They’re going to come back down to earth on their asking price since the market won’t pay what they want for him.
Could Gray Turn Things Around In Milwaukee?
Pitching coach Derek Johnson left for Cincinnati earlier this offseason, and Johnson was Gray’s former college pitching coach at Vanderbilt. Even though he’s gone, simply getting Gray out of New York should improve his results.
While both stadiums are hitters ballparks, Gray didn’t really struggle with home runs last season. He only allowed 11 homers in Yankee Stadium and 14 homers overall on the season. If Yankee Stadium and all of his struggles there didn’t cause him to give up more homers, then Miller Park shouldn’t either.
Gray had a 3.17 ERA on the road in 2018. He still showed signs of the ace pitcher that he was in Oakland prior to the trade.
For the Milwaukee Brewers, Gray is a buy-low option for their rotation who has ace potential. He’d be another solid option in their rotation in 2019. A deal for Gray probably won’t happen until January as there’s generally a lull in transactions between Christmas and New Year’s.
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If the Brewers don’t have to give up any legitimate prospects to acquire Gray, then it’s a good idea to buy low on him and hope he can turn things around in his walk year.