There’s been a lot of smoke around New York Yankees starter Sonny Gray for the past week. Are the Milwaukee Brewers still linked to him, or should they move on?
Based on recent reports, the Cincinnati Reds are no longer looking to deal for Sonny Gray. The San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers remain the two teams with the strongest links to Gray. Where do the rumors stand after another week of speculation?
What happened to the Reds?
Well, the Reds acquired Tanner Roark and Alex Wood. While they could still stand to upgrade their rotation, they’re in a rebuild, and have several young arms that need innings. Anthony DeSclafani, Luis Castillo, and Tyler Mahle will round out the rotation. Unless they suffer an injury or make another deal, there really isn’t room for another veteran starter.
What about the return the Yankees wanted?
Why are the Yankees asking for top prospects?
Because, why not? What’s really odd here is that the Yankees are asking for top prospects when they have zero leverage. Their GM announced that he wanted to deal Gray last summer. Everyone knows they want to flip Gray. The Yankees were either trying to gain leverage, or set the market for a distressed asset. Either way, there’s zero chance that they get a top-100 prospect in exchange for Gray. It’s easy to imagine Milwaukee Brewers GM David Stearns laughing at and hanging up on any calls from the Yankees requesting Keston Hiura for Gray. There are unconfirmed reports that the Yankees have asked for Corey Ray in a deal for Gray.
Where do the Padres stand?
They just dealt starter Clayton Richard to the Blue Jays, and are in the mix for about every pitcher known to be on the market, including Gray. They’ve also been linked to catcher J.T. Realmuto. The concern here is that the Padres could choose to dip into their super-deep farm system, and outbid everyone for Gray, and still have enough left over for Realmuto. They could also look to deal for Corey Kluber, sign Yusei Kikuchi, or find room for Dallas Keuchel.
The Padres have the trade chips and available dollars to make a few splash moves if they think they’re ready to contend. This is an issue for a team like the Milwaukee Brewers that has the dollar to make one splash move, and a smaller pool of trade chips.
Where do the Brewers stand?
Honestly, this really depends on the market. If the Yankees are only willing to discuss top prospects for Gray, he won’t be coming to Milwaukee.
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Dealing Hiura or Ray for a starter coming off a rough season with only one year of control makes zero sense for the Milwaukee Brewers. The Yankees need to lower their price if they want to move on from Gray. He simply doesn’t offer the years of control or the recent track record to warrant the current asking price.