The Yankees pulled off a long-awaited rotation upgrade today, acquiring righty Sonny Gray from the Athletics for three prospects: outfielder Dustin Fowler, infielder/outfielder Jorge Mateo, and righty James Kaprielian. In addition to Gray, the Yankees will receive $1.5MM in international bonus pool money. The teams have officially announced the trade, which was first broken by Jack Curry of the YES Network. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan was first with the return.
Gray joins a Yankees rotation that lost Michael Pineda to Tommy John surgery this month, but added Jaime Garcia in a trade with the Twins. With C.C. Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, and Jordan Montgomery also in the mix, it’s possible the Yankees will consider a six-man rotation. Another option would be to move Montgomery to the bullpen, which would also serve to limit the rookie’s innings. Sabathia and Garcia are headed to free agency after the season, and Tanaka can join them if he chooses to exercise his opt-out clause. Gray adds veteran stability for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Gray, 27, was drafted 18th overall by the Athletics in 2011 out of Vanderbilt. He excelled from 2013-15, posting a 2.88 ERA over 491 innings. 2016, however, was a lost year for Gray as he endured DL stints for a strained right trapezius as well as a forearm injury. This year, Gray is back on track with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts, as well as his best strikeout rate since his rookie year. Gray, who is listed at 5’10”, is one of the most successful starting pitchers of this height since the Dead Ball Era, to this point in his career. With the Cubs having acquired Jose Quintana several weeks ago, Gray was the big prize of the 2017 MLB trade deadline.
In the end, the Athletics were unable to pry loose the Yankees’ top three prospects: Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, and Chance Adams. Fowler, a 22-year-old outfield prospect, suffered a major knee injury in the first inning of his Major League debut last month. The open rupture in his right patella tendon resulted in season-ending surgery. MLB.com ranked Fowler fourth among Yankees prospects, citing a potential five-tool ceiling. Now, Fowler will likely make his first MLB plate appearance in 2018 as a member of the Athletics.
By MLB Trade Rumors