NOV. 10: “We don’t intend to trade Sonny Gray,” Athletics GM David Forst told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford today. “Not for a lack of interest, and not because he’s not a great pitcher that a lot of teams want. But we really feel like he’s part of our future, as well. As soon as you trade a young, healthy really good pitcher, you’re looking for another one.”
NOV. 4: While many fans whose teams are seeking top-tier pitching this winter have dreamed of prying right-hander Sonny Gray away from the Athletics, Oakland president of baseball operations Billy Beane tells Peter Gammons that he “just cannot see us trading Gray or [Josh] Reddick.”
The A’s have earned the reputation of being willing to trade anyone, and nothing exemplifies that more than last winter’s Josh Donaldson swap with the Blue Jays. Skeptics will point to quotes last year which indicated that Donaldson wouldn’t be dealt, but those came from an unnamed source as opposed to on-record comments from the club’s top decision-maker.
“Trading Gray is not something I think we could do,” Beane explained to Gammons. “We have to put a representative product on the field, and continue to dream we get a ballpark. We should have good pitching, with Gray, Jarrod Parker, Kendall Graveman, Jesse Hahn, Chris Bassitt, maybe Sean Manaea during the season.” While those comments don’t 100 percent eliminate the possibility of moving Gray or Reddick, they should serve to temper some rumors surrounding their names.
Gray, who turns 26 on Saturday, would command a king’s ransom in a trade anyhow. With two years and 61 days of big league service, Gray isn’t yet arbitration eligible and won’t be a free agent until the completion of the 2019 season. Four years of team control, the first of which would come near the league minimum, for a pitcher that has worked to a 2.88 ERA with 7.7 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 54.2 percent ground-ball rate would rank among the most valuable commodities in the game.
Reddick, on the other hand, is more of a conventional trade candidate, as the 28-year-old (29 in February) outfielder will be a free agent following the 2016 campaign. However, this is the second time that Beane has gone on record as saying he doesn’t plan to trade Reddick. Beane, in fact, discussed Reddick as a possible extension candidate when speaking to the Bay Area media following the regular season’s completion.
Reddick is a .251/.315/.439 hitter in four seasons with the A’s, though that includes what now looks to have been outlier season in 2013 when his bat was surprisingly unproductive (91 OPS+). Defensive metrics were somewhat down on Reddick in 2015, though he dealt with an oblique strain early in the season and also battled several knee injuries back in 2014, which could have lingered into the 2015 campaign. He comes with an outstanding defensive reputation, however, ranking ninth in the Majors in Defensive Runs Saved and 10th in Ultimate Zone Rating since being traded to Oakland prior to the 2012 campaign. Reddick has his flaws — namely a weak bat against same-handed pitching — but he’s a highly valuable player that could be in for a significant contract after the 2016 season if the A’s aren’t able to work out a long-term deal prior to that point.