The New York Yankees swung for the fences on today’s MLB trade deadline, acquiring Sonny Gray from the Oakland A’s in exchange for prospects Jorge Mateo, Dustin Fowler and James Kaprielian. It wasn’t so much defining the Yanks as buyers or sellers, they’re quite obviously the former, but this was a long term actual baseball trade. Gray still has two more full years following 2017 under team control.
MoranAlytics Take: I mean, I feel like you almost need to be a Yankee hater to not approve of this coup. However, before proceeding one thing should be made clear— reaction on Twitter, at least based on what I’ve seen carries the sentiment that Brian Cashman fleeced the A’s.
That’s unequivocally not true. Yes, Fowler (knee) and Kaprielian (Tommy John) are on the mend from serious injuries and Mateo’s not really close to being MLB ready, but for Oakland this deal isn’t about 2017. It’s conceivable; perhaps likely all three prospects will be a significant part of Oakland’s team within the next one to two years.
Having said that—due mainly to injury two of the three Yanks prospects dealt are high risk. Furthermore, I love Mateo but I think his path to the big league club, barring injuries or other trades would’ve been blocked for multiple years and maybe permanently. I hope things work out for Oakland but there’s no question this was a boom-or-bust deal for them.
It’s been reported for some time the Yankees were trying to deal for Sonny Gray and considering he’s not merely a Yu Darvish-type rental I’m pleasantly dumbfounded at the (lack of a) haul given up for him. I knew Cashman wouldn’t include Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier in any deal but I never expected to see Gray come to fruition without giving up at least one between Chance Adams, Justus Sheffield or Estevan Florial. I’m stunned, literally that all three are still Yankees tonight.
Over 16 starts totaling 97 innings this season Gray has a 3.43 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. Fully healthy now, Gray’s been sensational over the past month—striking out 25 over his last 24.1 innings while posting a 1.48 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. He’s a tenacious pitcher who throws plenty of ground balls. He could thrive at Yankee Stadium.
Of course, the main reason the Yanks were willing to part with three fairly high regarded prospects is Gray being under team control (arbitration-eligible) through 2019. He’s not going anywhere while be relatively cheap and more importantly for now providing stability to a rotation in need of some.
CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda will become free agents after this season and Mashiro Tanaka has the ability opt out and become one as well. Again, this Gray trade was about far more than just 2017.
Minus Gray stinking up the joint to the levels big-time acquisitions Kenny Rogers and Carl Pavano once did or constantly being injured, there’s no way this isn’t a great move for the Yanks.
Luis Cessa won’t be seeing the ball every fifth day for quite some time.
With Jaime Garcia recently acquired the team now has six starters in the rotation. It should give Joe Girardi a chance to keep Luis Severino and Jordan Montgomery a bit fresher while providing insurance should Sabathia get injured again and/or implode down the stretch.
Between today’s move, Garcia and the recent Chicago trade, it couldn’t be more discernible Cashman thinks the Yankees are ready to compete for a World Series right now.
He may not be right, but the rest of the season is shaping up to be a fun ride while we find out.
Holy shit.. I think I”m becoming a homer?!