Tonight may very well be Sonny Gray’s final start with the Oakland A’s, as he’s scheduled to face the Blue Jays in Toronto. The right-hander is the crown jewel of this summer’s trade market and has had a wide variety of suitors. From the start, one of the teams that was linked most strongly to Gray was our own Milwaukee Brewers, including a report yesterday afternoon that they, along with the Yankees, were still considered the strongest pursuers of Gray’s services.
However, a late night tweet from Ken Rosenthal indicates that the market may be changing:
Sources: #Brewers fading in Sonny Gray discussions.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 25, 2017
Along with the Brewers, the Yankees, Astros, Dodgers, Mariners, Braves, and Cubs have all shown varying degrees of interest in the 27 year old stud pitcher this summer. According to Jon Paul Morosi, the Nationals may also be preparing for a run at Gray, depending on the health of Stephen Strasburg. The Dodgers’ loss of Clayton Kershaw for an extended period of time may have ramped up their pursuit, as well.
If the Brewers are indeed “fading” from the picture, it could be an indication that the price is increasing to a point that is beyond Slingin’ David Stearns’ comfort level. Stearns reiterated yesterday that he is open to making additions to his first-place ball club but is keeping both the near-term and long-term future in mind. He won’t overpay for a player based on his club’s evaluation of the market; that is, he’s not about to get into a bidding war for anyone’s services, now or likely ever. There are other upgrades still out on the market - he could simply be turning his attention towards negotiations for Justin Wilson, JA Happ, Pat Neshek, AJ Ramos, Addison Reed, or any of the other players that the club has been connected to this summer.
It is important to keep in mind, though, that nothing is really “done” until Gray is officially wearing a new uniform. As Jaymes pointed out last night on Twitter, it isn’t unusual to see a team reported to be “out” on a player several days before the trade deadline, only to re-enter the deliberations shortly thereafter. The market is always changing and negotiations are often fluid. So as soon as Sonny Gray dons different colors than the green and gold of the A’s, that is when we’ll know for sure that he isn’t coming to Milwaukee.