After excruciating sessions of negotiation, the New York Yankees and the Oakland Athletics finally agreed on a near-blockbuster trade before the deadline for arguably the best pitcher available in 2017. The Yankees give up some of their best farm talent but did not give away the house. The Yankees still hold onto their prized prospects in Estevan Florial, Gleyber Torres, and of course Clint Frazier who is already in the Yankees daily lineup. Gray is on a one-year, $3.6 million deal and becomes a free agent in 2020. He is eligible for arbitration again in 2018-2019.
With this move the Yankees are primed to not only stay ahead of the Red Sox who are stumbling as of late and may also need some pitching and power hitting, but to also compete with the Astros and then possibly the beast of the west, the LA Dodgers. This move raises the level of the starting staff and puts less pressure on Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, and CC Sabathia. Gray will probably be in between Tanaka and Sabathia while newly acquired Jaime Garcia solidifies the #5 spot. Joe Girardi said Gray will make his Yankees debut during the team’s upcoming road trip, which begins Thursday with a four-game series at Cleveland. He also added that he won’t use a six-man rotation, meaning Jordan Montgomery could be the odd-man out.
The A’s originally wanted either Frazier or Torres, but that was quickly shot down. Oakland then requested Florial, but the 19-year-old outfielder is viewed nearly as untouchable as Frazier and Torres. The 22-year-old OF Fowler suffered a season-ending knee injury in his first Yankees game earlier this month. Kaprielian, a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher, is out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April. Mateo, 22, had increased his value as a SS/CF prospect with a .300+ batting average since his promotion to Double-A Trenton last month but also comes with some off-field baggage.
Gray bounced back from being on the disabled list earlier this season to go 6-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts. He goes to the Yankees in one of the best stretches of his career, having gone at least six inning while allowing two runs or fewer in each of his last six stars. Oakland is also sending $1.5 million in international bonus slot cash to New York. Yankees GM Brian Cashman seems to be earning his weight in gold this July and has put the Yankees in a great position to dominate in the post season as the bullpen can relax even more in pacing themselves towards a 28th World Championship.