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Yankees starter Sonny Gray a trade target?

The Milwaukee Brewers were rumored to have asked about New York Yankees starter Sonny Gray at the trade deadline. Could the two teams come together for a deal during the off season?

It’s not a secret that the Milwaukee Brewers need pitching. It’s also not a secret that the New York Yankees aren’t thrilled with Sonny Gray. What are the odds that the two playoff contenders can come together for a trade?

How did Sonny Gray perform in 2018?

Gray posted a 4.90 ERA in 130 1/3 innings of work. He struck out 123, walked 57, and was tagged for 14 homers. Gray was so rough that he was removed from the rotation, and worked seven games out of the bullpen at one point.

What were the numbers behind the numbers?

They paint a different picture. His 4.90 actual ERA was accompanied by a 4.10 xFIP.

Gray also really struggled in New Yankee Stadium. He posted a 3.17 ERA on the road, but was torched to the tune of a 6.98 ERA in New Yankee.

Most of Gray’s struggles also came before the All-Star break. He posted a 5.46 ERA before the mid-summer classic, and a 3.63 ERA after.

The bottom line on Gray is that he isn’t that bad. He’s just not built to pitch half his games in New Yankee Stadium.

What does Gray’s contract look like?

2019 is Gray’s final year of salary arbitration. He earned $6.5 million in 2018, and is expected to get a raise close to $9.1 million this year. He’s a free agent after next year.

What would a deal for Gray look like?

Well, it’s believed that the New York Yankees will look to flip Gray during the off season. The problem is that every team in the league knows it, including the Milwaukee Brewers. While there probably won’t be a bidding war, the Brewers won’t get Gray for pennies on the dollar. They may have to actually part with someone of value to land Gray.

The New York Yankees need starting pitching depth, and the Milwaukee Brewers have a troubled starter of their own who is under contract at a reasonable rate, and probably also needs to go.

Chase Anderson also suffered from home/road split issues, and his peak 3.2 peak WAR value is close to Gray’s peak WAR of 3.8. Gray would only add a few million dollars in payroll over Anderson’s salary in 2019.

Anderson was passed over for a starting role in the playoffs, and may not factor into the starting rotation in 2019 unless he finds a new home. The Yankees only have two starting pitchers under contract and need to add depth.

Next: Should the Brewers look to deal Eric Thames?

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Trading Anderson for Gray allows the Milwaukee Brewers to upgrade their rotation without spending a ton of their off season capital. This deal also allows the New York Yankees trade a problem while adding a Major League starting pitcher who’s under contract for as many as three more years. The Brewers get their ace, and the Yankees solve a problem, and add to their rotation. It’s a clear win for both teams.

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