Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray endured an injury-plagued 2016 in which his production declined sharply, thereby hurting his trade value. Gray isn’t far removed from an ace-like stretch from 2013-15, though, and a rebound this year would increase the likelihood of the A’s trading him during the season, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. While general manager David Forst would like Gray to spend the next decade in an A’s uniform, the two sides haven’t engaged in any extension talks, reports Slusser (Twitter links). Gray, 28, is controllable via arbitration through the 2019 campaign and will make $3.58MM this season.
More from California:
- The Padres are maintaining interest in free agent righty Jered Weaver, tweets Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. San Diego has been targeting Weaver for over a month, and the team reportedly offered him more than the $1.75MM in guarantees it gave to each of Jhoulys Chacin, Trevor Cahill and Clayton Richard earlier this offseason. The 34-year-old Weaver, a careerlong Angel who’s coming off his worst season, would presumably join Chacin, Cahill and Richard to comprise four-fifths of a rotation if he were to sign with the rebuilding Padres. The Friars have also shown interest in fellow veteran righty Jake Peavy, their former ace, but talks between the two haven’t “heated up,” per Lin.
- The Dodgers are prioritizing their bullpen as spring training approaches, team president Andrew Friedman informed Doug Padilla of ESPN.com. “I don’t think you ever get to a place with the bullpen where you’re done,” said Friedman. “It’s something that every year, heading into the season, it scares you.” The Dodgers have added Brandon Morrow as a potential bullpen piece this week, and they’re reportedly in on free agents Joe Blanton, Craig Breslow and Jerry Blevins. Blanton was a prominent member of the Dodgers’ relief corps last season, as was J.P Howell, but they haven’t been able to land deals with February nearing.
- After beginning last season as a starter, Dodgers southpaw Alex Wood underwent an elbow procedure in July and returned as a reliever toward the end of the campaign. He could be a factor in their bullpen this year, then, but Wood said Saturday that he’ll work as a starter in spring training and expects to crack the Dodgers’ season-opening rotation (Twitter link via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com). Wood might have a legitimate shot to land a starting job to begin the year, as phenom Julio Urias could head to extended spring training in the early going. It appears Wood will face competition from Hyun-Jin Ryu, however.
- The Athletics are unlikely to make any further roster alterations leading up spring training, according to Forst (Twitter link via John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group). If the A’s are indeed done for the offseason, outfielders Matt Joyce and Rajai Davis, reliever Santiago Casilla and third baseman Trevor Plouffe will go down as their winter haul.