The long-rumored trade of Sonny Gray to the Yankees has hit a major snag.
The New York Yankees have been seen as the front-runners to land Sonny Gray for the last few weeks. But a deal could be in danger because New York is balking at the Oakland Athletics’ asking price.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports Oakland is seeking a package that includes either outfielder Clint Frazier or shortstop Gleyber Torres, “two young players the Yankees have suggested are off-limits.”
After a terrible 2016, the 27-year-old Gray is having a nice bounce-back year (3.43 ERA, 3.25 FIP) and is under team control through the end of the 2019 season.
The Yankees would love to slate him in as the No. 2 starter behind ace Luis Severino (or No. 3, depending on how you rank Masahiro Tanaka), but they see Frazier and Torres as too valuable to the future of the franchise to trade away.
Frazier, 22, has hit .284/.299/.541 with 11 extra-base hits since being called up from Triple-A earlier this month. A key part of last year’s deal that sent Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians, Frazier was ranked MLB’s No. 39 prospect by Baseball America heading into the season.
Torres was even more highly regarded by BA, ranking as No. 5 overall. The 20-year-old native of Venezuela is seen as the shortstop of the future in the Bronx despite having season-ending Tommy John surgery last month.
The Yankees expect Torres will be ready to go by next spring training. He was hitting .287/.383/.480 with seven home runs between stops in Double-A and Triple-A before his injury.
The Milwaukee Brewers had been seen as a possible Gray suitor, but they have backed off in recent days, Heyman reports. The Atlanta Braves are considered far behind the Yankees.
Two years ago, Gray looked like a rising star. He was 25, made the All-Star team and finished third in Cy Young voting after registering a 2.73 ERA with 14 wins.
But things went south in 2016 as the right-hander battled injuries and was awful when he pitched (5.69 ERA in 22 starts). He has been better this season, for sure, but not enough to pry away either of the Yankees’ top prospects, apparently.