We are two days away from the trade deadline and Sonny Gray is still an Oakland Athletic. Gray is the biggest fish remaining on the trade market, meaning that David Forst, Billy Beane, and co. are justified in seeking a significant package in return for their ace. The Milwaukee Brewers have been one of the most oft-connected teams to Gray this summer, but it appears as though Slingin’ David Stearns isn’t willing to meet Oakland’s asking price:
Talks with #Brewers and #Athletics for Sonny Gray have stalled. The #As are insisting on CF Lewis Brinson. The Brewers won't trade him.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 29, 2017
Brinson is Milwaukee’s top prospect and considered to be one of the premiere young talents in all of baseball. He was recently ranked as the #15 overall prospect in MLB Pipeline’s new top-100 and is currently with the Brewers, seeing plenty of action in center field. He’s only batted a meager .128/.244/.333 through his first 45 big league plate appearances, but he did slug his first two big league home runs in the past week.
The Brewers aren’t the only club who are balking at the asking price for Sonny Gray, either. Oakland has reportedly asked for either Clint Frazier or Gleyber Torres as part of a possible return from the Yankees, who are said to have begun looking at other options on the trade market until the price for Gray drops. New York is now reportedly focusing their efforts on rental arms like Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, and Jaime Garcia. The Astros are no longer believed to be heavily involved in talks with Oakland, nor are the Nationals. The Dodgers, Cubs, Mariners, Padres, and Braves have all reportedly shown interest in Gray, but it remains to be seen how seriously involved any of those teams are.
Given all of these reports, it sounds like the market for Gray may be collapsing. It appears as though Oakland may have to consider accepting a lower offer if they want to move their ace, or be prepared to hold on to him and explore his market again this winter. We know that the Brewers were prepared to package Corey Ray and Luis Ortiz for Jose Quintana and are thought to be willing to include one of or both in a potential Sonny Gray trade. If Oakland is willing to back away from their Brinson demand, they could still get quite a nice package of prospects from Milwaukee.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs