According to reports from Jack Curry of the YES! Network, the Yankees and the Athletics have agreed to a trade that will send SP Sonny Gray to the Bronx for Jorge Mateo, James Kaprielian, and Dustin Fowler. This is a huge move for the Yankees as this is a guy that they’ve looked at for weeks and liked. They needed quality starting pitching and it looks like they may have gotten it in the form of Gray. It is also a good move for the Athletics as it would’ve been silly to not move Gray for a good deal. His trade value was its highest ever right now and it wasn’t worth the risk to wait and put him back in trade talks during the winter.
Gray had made 16 starts as the ace of the Athletics pitching start. In these starts, Gray had a 6-5 win-loss record, with a solid 3.43 ERA in 97 total innings of work. Gray is striking out about 9 batters per 9 innings pitched, along with averaging around 3 walks per 9 innings and giving up an average of less than a home run per 9 innings. Gray has a really efficient 1.18 WHIP. He’s also under team control through the 2020 season which makes for him to likely be a piece of the future New York Yankees ball club.
Gray is a huge addition to the Yankees pitching staff in many ways. I discussed earlier about the team friendly contract that Gray is currently on. Another thing Gray gives the Yankees is an ace quality starting pitcher which is what the team was desperately scouring the trade market for. It strengthens a Yankees pitching staff that has been struggling the last two months and he also helps as the replacement for starter Michael Pineda who suffered a season ending injury a few weeks back. This move certainly should help the Yankees keep a close eye in contention with the Red Sox for the AL East division title.
The Oakland Athletics made a really good move on their part. Yes, it’s difficult to part ways with a pitcher of Gray’s caliber but the Athletics need to keep their focus on one thing and one thing only and that is rebuilding the club back to contention in the AL West. They cashed in on trading Gray when his trade market value was highest and they were given a few really solid prospects in return.
The Athletics big piece acquired in this trade is quality young prospect, 22 year old SS/OF Jorge Mateo, in the deal. Mateo has a lot of potential to be a future MLB all-star but first, the Athletics have to help him polish off a few skills. He started out the year in Class-A advanced but was moved up to the Double-A Trenton Thunder in June. He has a great combination of speed, arm strength, and a bit of pop in his bat. He was batting .300 with 4 home runs, 26 RBIs, 11 stolen bags, and has a 2.1 K/BB ratio which is very solid for an unpolished young hitter. Mateo was ranked as the Yankees no.8 overall prospect and may be climbing his way into the top 100 overall prospects list soon. Kaprielian is also a solid return for the Athletics as he was ranked as the no.12 prospect in the Yankees organization. Dustin Fowler was set to make his MLB debut in June against the White Sox but he was injured in the first inning. He is ranked as the fourth best prospect in the Yankees organization.
The Yankees: A-; Yankees get an ace caliber starter in Gray without giving up Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, Estevan Florial, or Chance Adams. Also get $1.5 million dollars for international signing bonus money. They win this trade as Cashman swoops in and swipes Gray to a really reasonable price.
The Athletics: B+; Two out of three acquired prospects have legitimate injury concerns but all three prospects are extremely talented with a very high ceiling. Athletics could’ve maybe gotten more uninjured prospects but they now have three more who could be future all stars in the big leagues.