Sonny Gray walked off the mound after a scoreless bottom of the sixth Tuesday in Toronto.
Was it the last inning he’ll pitch in green and gold?
That’s the dominant storyline around the A’s right now, especially in light of Tuesday afternoon’s revelation that the Yankees are making a run at acquiring both Gray and first baseman Yonder Alonso from Oakland in a package deal.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported multiple sources as saying the teams were “making progress” on a deal that would send both players to the Big Apple.
The A’s have been scouting the Yankees’ farm system recently, along with the systems of other contending teams who are considering Gray. The speculation surrounding Alonso, a free agent this winter, has been light in recent weeks except for the Yankees’ known interest. But after New York acquired corner infielder Todd Frazier from the White Sox last week, it seemed the Yankees’ need for Alonso might have lessened. Apparently, that’s not the case.
Gray struck out nine over six innings in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Blue Jays, which leaves the A’s 1-4 so far on this seven-game road trip. All four runs off him came in the second, when his own throwing error toward second base helped open the gates to the only rally Toronto needed. Ryan Goins had a two-out two-run double and Jose Bautista also doubled home a run in the inning, with all four runs off Gray unearned.
MLB.com also reported earlier Tuesday that the A’s had a particular interest in Yankees Single-A center fielder Estevan Florial, and that infielder/outfielder Jorge Mateo, ranked New York’s fourth-best prospect by Baseball America before the season, could also enter the equation. That same report mentioned that such elite Yankee prospects as shortstop Gleyber Torres, outfielder Clint Frazier and pitchers Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield would be all but untouchable. All are among New York’s top-10 prospects.
But for a deal that includes both Gray and Alonso, it stands to reason the A’s could ask for the inclusion of one or more of those four in a deal.
The Yankees aren’t the only team that has an enticing pool of prospects that could make for a match with Oakland. Houston, known to be going after a starter, has multiple outfielders who could be attractive to the A’s. The Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers are among other teams in search of pitching who could put together competitive offers.
Gray’s next scheduled start would come Sunday at home against the Minnesota Twins, one day before the non-waiver trade deadline.