As speculation over the Brewers' interest in Oakland Athletics ace Sonny Gray continues, so does talk on what the A's would require in return for the righty who's still under team control through 2019.
Considering what the Cubs gave up for Jose Quintana -- a package that included a Top-5 prospect in Eloy Jimenez -- and Oakland's need for a longterm solution in centerfield, there was some concern that a Gray deal would cost the Brewers Lewis Brinson.
Writing on Facebook (because Fox Sports doesn't think you're capable of reading sports news on the Internet), Ken Rosenthal says that may not be the case (h/t to Brewer Nation):
Brett Phillips would figure to be part of any Brewers offer to Oakland for Gray; the A's need a center fielder, and the Brewers probably would prefer to keep their two top prospects according to MLBPipeline.com, Lewis Brinson and Corey Ray.
The Brewers' system is strong enough for them to put together a package for Gray without Brinson; Ray, the fifth overall pick out of Louisville in the 2016 draft, is struggling offensively in the High-A Carolina League.
It seems pretty likely that Oakland would also want a pitcher in return for the best one on their roster. Applying the same logic above to the pitching reserves, it's probably safe to assume the Brewers would want to avoid giving up Josh Hader in a deal for Gray. Luis Ortiz, Brandon Woodruff, or Corbin Burnes, though? Then you might be talking. Add in another interesting third player and you might have the A’s seriously considering it.
Of course, this is all guesswork. But if the Brewers decide It's Time to Win and could pull off a deal for a pitcher of Gray's caliber without giving up their top two prospects, it may be a lot easier for the segment of the fanbase who doesn't want to see the team doing some major buying at the deadline to stomach.