While the Athletics aren’t exactly shopping any of Sonny Gray, Stephen Vogt or Sean Doolittle, they’re open-minded to trade scenarios involving the three due to the fact that they recognize the unlikeliness of competing in the next year’s AL West with this current group, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Per Rosenthal, Oakland will look to build around younger arms like Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton, though he also notes the difficulty that presents itself when entertaining offers on Gray. Trading the 2015 Cy Young candidate when his value is at all-time low is quite problematic, as teams will be looking to buy low on the still-just-27-year-old Gray, while the A’s rightly would place a higher premium on him. Both Gray and Vogt are controllable for three more years via arbitration, while Doolittle is guaranteed a mere $6.95MM over the next two seasons and has two club options at $6MM and $6.5MM beyond that.
Some more trade rumblings from around the league…
- Also via Rosenthal, the Rangers and Rays had extensive talks about Chris Archer, Drew Smyly and Jake Odorizzi prior to the non-waiver trade deadline this summer, and the two sides aren’t expected to renew any of those talks. Texas isn’t as aggressive on Rich Hill as other clubs either, though Rosenthal notes that they’ll still probably find a way add a mid-rotation arm or back-of-the-rotation arm at some point this winter.
- The Diamondbacks are content to hang onto Yasmany Tomas for the time being, Rosenthal reports. The 26-year-old had a huge second half that saw him bat .294/.329/.584 with 18 homers in 258 plate appearances, boosting his season batting line to .272/.313/.508 to go along with 31 homers. However, his highly suspect defense (-16 DRS, -14 UZR), below-average OBP and poor baserunning left him as a replacement-level player in the eyes of both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference. Rosenthal notes that AL teams may eventually find Tomas more attractive once players like Yoenis Cespedes and Edwin Encarnacion sign, though I’m not sure any team would jump at Tomas’ contract. He’s guaranteed $48.5MM over the next four seasons and has an opt-out clause following the 2018 campaign on his backloaded deal. In other words, if Tomas blossomed into the regular he was projected to be, he could jump ship after just two years and re-enter free agency, but if 2017 mirrors his first two years, an acquiring team would be looking at nearly $50MM for a sub-replacement-level player.
- ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick spoke to a number of general managers at this week’s meetings to discuss the thin market for starting pitching, including Tigers GM Al Avila. Crasnick writes that the Tigers are willing to dangle Justin Verlander in trades — Avila acknowledged as much earlier this week when saying the Tigers were open-minded to virtually any trade scenario — and notes that the GM has already spoken with Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Ian Kinsler and informed them that they should expect to see their names bandied about in trade rumors this offseason.
- Crasnick also talked to Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi about the possibility of L.A. swinging a deal for an arm. Zaidi expressed some confidence in the depth that the team has internally before adding, “…but there’s a reason we went out and traded for Rich Hill at the deadline last year. It’s something we’re going to continue to monitor.” Zaidi’s Dodgers are indeed stacked with depth — in addition to Clayton Kershaw they have options in Julio Urias, Kenta Maeda, Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood, Jose De Leon, Brock Stewart, Hyun-jin Ryu and Ross Stripling — which is why the GM said the team will be “fairly targeted in looking for guys who come with maximum upside to pitch at the front of the rotation.”
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that the Rays left the GM Meetings with a stronger belief than they had upon arrival that they’ll trade one of Archer, Odorizzi or Smyly this winter. He adds that there’s an “outside chance” that Alex Cobb will be dealt as well, although Cobb’s return from Tommy John surgery was delayed in 2016, leaving him with a total of just 22 innings and an 8.59 ERA, so it’d be understandable if Tampa Bay feels that Cobb’s value would increase in 2017.