New York Yankees: Sonny Gray Talks Increase As CC Sabathia Gains Clearance

The New York Yankees might be on the brink of a trade that would see the departure of starting pitcher Sonny Gray who was demoted to relief duties in 2018 due to inconsistent outings.

Jon Heyman of FanCred has indicated that talks have spiked over the once sought-after pitcher involving several clubs – Reds, Padres Brewers, A’s, Mariners, and Braves. The deal will likely get done one way or another as the Yankees are trying to unload his contract.

Gray struggled in Yankee stadium, giving up 14 homers in 30 games last season. He also allowed 73 runs. To compare to his best season to date (2015), Gray allowed 71 runs over 208 innings pitched while in 2018 he pitched just 130 innings. The differential is mind-blowing.

The former A’s righty clearly lost his confidence early on in the Bronx, and being demoted further demoralized him to the point of losing innings as a relief pitcher.

Why did talks quiet in December?

When CC Sabathia underwent heart surgery the Yankees seemed to stall negotiations for Gray until they knew that their veteran starter would return to full health. It made sense for them to be cautious as there were rumors that Sabathia wouldn’t be ready to return for spring training.

However, news that Sabathia would be 100% come spring allowed the Yankees to continue shopping their valuable pitcher.

What’s so attractive about Gray?

In another setting he can still be a very effective option, but the short right-deck and crowd-heckling atmosphere at Yankee Stadium surely didn’t help Gray’s cause.

One of the more underrated aspects of Gray is that he’s consistently healthy. When called upon he shows up to work, albeit not very effectively for the Yankees, for another team his services could be more of use. It’s rumored that the Yankees will be looking for elite-level prospects in return for a potential deal.