The Yankees have been viewed as a favorite to land one of the top available pitchers on the market, but it sounds as if their talks with the A’s have hit a snag. Oakland would prefer to get one of either Clint Frazier or Gleyber Torres, but New York was not even willing to include either in their offer for Jose Quintana a couple weeks ago.
As the New York Post’s Joel Sherman points out, that means parting with a larger cache of prospects that fall just outside of that tippy-top tier. Even though they might not be the cream of the crop in the Yankees org, a move like that is going to sting.
To get this done likely is going to take four prospects and I simply do not see how it does not include Estevan Florial or Jorge Mateo as a main component plus someone such as Domingo Acevedo or the rising prospect Freicer Perez and two other attractive pieces with high ceilings.
It’s possible that taking on Yonder Alonso, who the A’s really want to move, would grease the wheels a little, and Jerry Crasnick tweeted that the Yankees would do it if that’s what it takes. But Crasnick and his ESPN colleague, Buster Olney, are both reporting that the Yankees are more than willing to turn to Plan B, which might be Lance Lynn or Jaime Garcia (Twitter links here and here).
“Wait a minute…didn’t he…?” Yes, Garcia has already been traded once in the last week, though Minnesota might already have buyer’s remorse as they muddle around in the Central and could flip their newest pitcher for more of a haul than they gave up to get him.
Yu Darvish could also be in the mix, but the Rangers have set what to this point is an excessive price for a rental. Then you’ve got former Cub Dan Straily, whose availability has been the subject of conflicting reports this morning alone. The Miami Herald’s Clark Spencer reported earlier (separate Twitter links) that the Brewers, Rockies, Royals, and Yankees had all expressed interest in the resurgent righty.
In short, Gray is atop the Yankees’ list, but they’re making it very well known that they have many more options at their disposal. Of course, the Yankees are neither the only team interested in the Oakland pitcher nor the only one balking at his price tag.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 29, 2017
In another report regarding Gray’s potential landing spots, Sherman listed the Braves, Dodgers, and, yes, even the Cubs among those that at least one official referred to as “stealth teams.” While this contradicts what Jed Hoyer said just the other day when he told 670 The Score’s Spiegel and Parkins that the Cubs had made their big move already, you can never believe what execs are saying publicly this time of year. Well, until you can believe them, which won’t be until after the deadline.
I want to stress here that seeing Gray in blue is highly unlikely, though Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal both reported in the wake of the Quintana deal that the Cubs were still in on the coveted righty. So I’m saying there’s a chance, but it would take a lot of things breaking the right way for this to go down. Like a lot lot of things.
The first of those is the Yankees and Brewers completely walking away and pursuing other options. Then you’d probably have to have the A’s come down from their asking price, which probably only happens if they start running short on suitors. Even so, you’re talking about parting with a package that includes a couple top prospects and probably a player off the 25-man roster as well. Without diving too deep into speculative waters, I’d say Albert Almora Jr., Javy Baez, and Ian Happ would be the most likely candidates.
Oakland has said they’re happy to hold onto their ace, but they’re unlikely to get a better deal for him than they can right now. Gray is healthy, he’s pitching well, and the demand in the market is high, all of which dovetails too perfectly to pass up if you’re the A’s.
With Gray scheduled to pitch Sunday afternoon, we should see some very interesting developments here very soon. I would be absolutely floored to see the Cubs land him, but I felt the same way about Quintana before that went down.