New York Yankees

MLB Rumors: A's, Yankees talked Sonny Gray deal but no trade imminent

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AP

MLB Rumors: A's, Yankees talked Sonny Gray deal but no trade imminent

It could be Sonny again in Oakland, but there's reportedly still a long way to go. 

The A's reached out to the Yankees about acquiring right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray, "but there is no present momentum in talks," MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported Friday. 

Last week, Fancred's Jon Heyman reported the A's were interested in re-acquiring Gray, who pitched in Oakland from 2013 to 2017 before being traded to New York. As Morosi noted, they've had no problem bringing back former pitchers, and there's good reason that a return to Oakland could bring the best out of Gray.

For one thing, he was a much better pitcher away from Yankee Stadium since the Bronx Bombers acquired him at the trade deadline in 2017. Gray went 6-7 with a 6.55 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 88.0 innings in the Bronx. By contrast, he was 9-9 with a 2.84 ERA and 1.18 WHIP on the road. In 386.0 innings at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum with the A's, Gray was 25-20 with a 3.50 ERA and 1.17 WHIP.

Injuries to promising young starters such as Sean Manaea and A.J. Puk forced the A's to use a patchwork starting rotation down the stretch last season, and the team relied on a bullpenning strategy en route to its first playoff appearance in four years. As a result, A's executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane identified starting pitching as the team's top priority this offseason.

[ROSS: How Patrick Corbin's contract could affect A's starting pitching market]

[MORE: Did Nathan Eovaldi's playoff heroics put him out of A's price range?]

Re-acquiring Gray would maintain the approach that kept the rotation afloat last season but offer the A's much more upside than bringing back Cahill and Anderson. With the Yankees actively looking to trade Gray, it makes a lot of sense for both teams.

Based on Morosi's report, it sounds like they'll have to start picking up the phone, though. 

Source: A's hope to re-sign Edwin Jackson; four MLB teams also interested

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USATSI

Source: A's hope to re-sign Edwin Jackson; four MLB teams also interested

Free-agent right-hander Edwin Jackson already has drawn interest from several teams, including the New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds and Toronto Blue Jays, a source told NBC Sports California on Tuesday.

The A's also have expressed serious interest in re-signing the 35-year-old, according to a source.

Jackson went 6-3 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 17 starts for the A's last season, earning his 100th career win in the process. Even more impressive, the A's went 14-3 in his starts. For his efforts, Jackson was named a finalist for AL Comeback Player of the Year, along with Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price and Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley.

[RELATED: Ranking A's free agents to re-sign from No. 1 to No. 8 in importance]

The Yankees could make sense as a landing spot, even though they reportedly re-signed pitcher CC Sabathia on Tuesday. New York's starting pitchers struggled for much of last season, especially in the second half, so Jackson could provide depth to their rotation.

The Tigers, Reds and Blue Jays all need help in their rotations. Detroit's starters combined for a 4.65 ERA, eighth-worst in MLB. Cincinnati and Toronto were even worse at 5.02 and 5.14, respectively.

Jackson said many times that he enjoyed playing in Oakland last season and he would be open to a return, according to a source. He earned just $1.5 million last year but figures to get a healthy raise, wherever he ends up signing.

A's executive vice president Billy Beane already has stated that starting pitching will be a top priority this offseason. The A's will enter 2019 without the services of Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton and A.J. Puk, all of whom are recovering from season-ending surgeries.

In addition to Jackson, pitchers Trevor Cahill and Brett Anderson both are free agents, while Mike Fiers is eligible for arbitration.

Why the Giants should call Yankees, ask about trading for Sonny Gray

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AP

Why the Giants should call Yankees, ask about trading for Sonny Gray

SAN FRANCISCO — In his first year with the Giants, pitching coach Curt Young received plenty of praise for his work with young starters Dereck Rodriguez and Andrew Suarez. He also was frequently mentioned by veteran Derek Holland, who needed a fresh start after a brutal year with the White Sox. 

What could Young do with a young starter who also happens to need a change of scenery? The Giants should find out. 

At his end-of-season press conference Friday morning, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman bluntly told reporters that he would attempt to trade Sonny Gray, a former All-Star who posted a 4.90 ERA in his first full season with the Yankees and quickly became a target for their fans. It’s a call the Giants should make for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, Gray, just 28 years old, has not lost his talent. In 15 appearances on the road, he had a 3.17 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .226 average. He allowed just three homers in 71 innings on the road, striking out 78.

At Yankee Stadium, where pop-ups to right can turn into homers, Gray had a 6.98 ERA and gave up 11 homers in 59 1/3 innings. This is a man who simply needs a new ballpark, and there isn’t a better one for pitchers than AT&T Park. 

At his peak in Oakland, where Young was his pitching coach, Gray was a five-WAR starter. Even in 2017, the year he was traded, he had an ERA+ of 122. A repeat of that season would have ranked him second on the 2018 Giants, behind Rodriguez. 

Gray should be a buy-low target for plenty of teams, but the Giants have one big advantage here. Because of his past success, Gray is estimated to make $9.1 million in arbitration, according to MLB Trade Rumors, which could price him out for some other teams, including the one playing across the Bay Bridge. For the Giants, that’s a drop in the bucket, and they could take on the full salary and then see what the Yankees want in return. 

That part is unclear, but Yankees reporters didn’t seem to think the trade ask would be too high. According to Marc Carig of The Athletic, Cashman said, “It’s probably best to try this somewhere else” and made it clear that if he finds a trade partner, Gray is being moved. The Giants — who are interviewing Cashman’s former assistant GM (Kim Ng) and have a former Yankee (Brian Sabean) currently running their operations — would appear to be the perfect fit, giving Cashman the chance to move Gray to the other league, where he couldn’t come back to haunt the Yankees. 

If he can find his old form, Gray could give the Giants a No. 2 or No. 3 starter on a one-year deal as they look to reload, setting the rotation and allowing the new front office to spend the rest of the offseason looking for bats. If he’s good and the team still isn’t, Gray would be a nice trade chip in July. And if it doesn’t work out in any respect, Gray would hit free agency next offseason, and the Giants wouldn’t be stuck with another long-term commitment to a starting pitcher.

Either way, this is a call they have to make.