11:03pm: Gray’s market is still in flux, with Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reporting that the Yankees are balking at the A’s requests for a package centered around Clint Frazier or Gleyber Torres. Even if Oakland checks down to some of the Yanks’ next tier of prospects, such as Estevan Florial, it seems that New York will remain reluctant to pull the trigger on Gray — though the club has seemingly focused on him to this point.
In his own look at the market for Gray, Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network says the Astros and Brewers are “not significantly involved” at present. He notes, too, that the Padres’ interest may be more serious than has previously been thought.
9:33am: Rosenthal now tweets that the Nationals are not, in fact, in on either Gray or Rangers ace Yu Darvish. Rather, the team might simply elect to pursue another reliever to further boost the back of the bullpen.
12:00am: Earlier tonight, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported that rival clubs believe that most teams have informed the Athletics which centerpieces they’re willing to part with in a potential trade for right-hander with Sonny Gray, adding that the Yankees are believed to be the front-runners. According to Sherman, many expect that the A’s will deal Gray before this Sunday’s scheduled start against the Twins.
Though the Yankees are the perceived front-runner, Jon Morosi of MLB.com tweets that both the Nationals and Mariners have some interest in Gray, though the extent of that interest isn’t clear. MLB Network’s Ken Rosenthal writes that the Mariners and A’s haven’t touched base on Gray in about a week, though multiple rivals from around the game believe that ever-active GM Jerry Dipoto will find a way to make a competitive bid despite a thin farm system.
Rosenthal outlines a speculative scenario in which the M’s could pair a big league outfielder with top prospect Kyle Lewis (among other pieces), then pivot to acquire a new corner outfielder in what is currently a buyers’ market for short-term corner bats. (Rosenthal’s column has multiple quotes on Dipoto’s whirlwind style of trading, including one unnamed exec opining: “I don’t think he’s burning [the farm system] to the ground. I think he knows it’s already on fire and is trying to do what he can with the assets he has.” It’s well worth a full look.)
As for the Nats, Rosenthal reports that a deal could hinge on whether the Nats would part with prized prospect Victor Robles in a deal (Twitter links). Some in the Nationals’ organization now value fellow outfield prospect Juan Soto over Robles, though that hardly suggests that Washington has soured on Robles or given up on him in any way.
Sherman suggests that one factor working in favor of the Yankees is that some believe the Astros to be the team most willing to roll the dice on Orioles’ closer Zach Britton, which could take some of their focus off Gray. Sherman notes that the Astros do still have some trepidation about the various red flags surrounding Britton this year (injuries, lack of appearances on consecutive days, etc.). Houston GM Jeff Luhnow again emphasized to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick today, however, that he doesn’t feel obligated to overpay for any addition given the team’s significant lead in the American League West. “We have a pretty good team, and if we can improve it without giving up too much of our future, we will,” said Luhnow.