The Athletics’ promising stable of starters could make right-hander Sonny Gray expendable this year, posits FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal (video link). Major leaguers Kendall Graveman, Jharel Cotton, Sean Manaea and Andrew Triggs all look like viable building blocks, while prospects Grant Holmes and last year’s sixth overall pick, A.J. Puk, are among potential future starters within the organization. Gray endured a nightmarish 2016 and is currently on the mend from a lat strain, so his stock surely isn’t where it was when he performed like an ace from 2013-15. Still, Gray’s fairly young (27), affordable ($3.575MM) and controllable via arbitration through the 2019 campaign. If Oakland does place Gray on the block, it could seek outfield help in return, Rosenthal says.
Here’s more from the AL West:
- The Rangers aren’t inclined to trade corner infielder/outfielder Joey Gallo, whom they view as an important long-term piece, according to Rosenthal. The powerful Gallo has been strong at third base this year in place of the injured Adrian Beltre, who’s 38 and only signed through next season. Even if Gallo exits the lineup when Beltre returns, the 23-year-old could become an everyday player at first base or in the outfield by next season, Rosenthal notes. At that point, free agents-to-be Mike Napoli and Carlos Gomez might be in other uniforms, thus creating room for Gallo. The former big-time prospect has slashed a productive .235/.350/.529 in 40 PAs this year, and while he’s still striking out too much, his 35 percent K rate is a vast improvement over the unsightly 63.3 percent mark he put up in 30 PAs last season.
- The Astros faced a scary situation in Oakland on Saturday when shortstop Carlos Correa left early after taking a 96 mph fastball from Frankie Montas to the left hand. Fortunately for the Astros and Correa, X-rays only revealed a contusion. “Good news, obviously,” Correa told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. “I thought it was going to be a lot worse. Obviously, it was a hard-throwing guy and it was a fastball inside. He didn’t give me a chance to get out of the way and I got hit in the hand. Thank God no fracture.” Correa, who’s day-to-day, hopes to return to Houston’s lineup Sunday.
- Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien has a bone contusion in his right wrist and will undergo an MRI on Monday, tweets Joe Stiglich of NBC Sports California. Semien’s wrist has been an issue since late in the spring, adds Stiglich, and that could at least partially explain his early season power outage. After swatting 27 long balls and posting a .197 ISO last season, Semien has gone homer-less and managed a paltry .057 ISO in 46 plate trips this year.
- Rangers reliever Keone Kela, demoted to Triple-A on March 31 as a disciplinary measure, is a candidate to rejoin Texas’ bullpen next time the team needs help from the minors, writes Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Kela’s never not been an option,” said manager Jeff Banister. “They’ve all been possibilities. It just depends on what you need.” The 23-year-old Kela was excellent as a rookie in 2015, but he took significant steps backward last season and then earned a ticket to Triple-A by showing a lack of effort in a minor league intrasquad game this spring.