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Yankees rumors: Zack Littell scratched as Sonny Gray rumors heat up

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It might be nearly showtime.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Sherman reported that Trenton Thunder pitcher Zack Littell was a healthy scratch from his Double-A start tonight. Sonny Gray rumors have ramped up in the last several hours, and Littell’s scratch does not seem to be coincidental.

It was reported a few hours ago that the Oakland Athletics had seemingly backed off asking the Yankees for Clint Frazier or Gleyber Torres in a Gray deal. Brian Cashman remained adamant that neither would be moved at the trade deadline, and it looks like he might have gotten Billy Beane to blink. Gray has already been officially scratched from his start tomorrow, further indicating that a deal seems to be on the way.

The Yankees got Littell from the Mariners in the James Pazos trade last year. Littell has had an outstanding season in the Yankees’ system, pitching to a 1.87 ERA between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Being able to maintain production at the higher level of the minors is definitely a reason he might be included in a deal for Gray.

Littell certainly wouldn’t be the headliner in any deal. All signs point to that being Low-A outfielder Estevan Florial. Florial played earlier today for the Charleston RiverDogs. The A’s want center field help in the deal and Florial fits the bill for that. He’s quite a ways off and the Yankees outfield picture is still quite crowded, so Cashman is still able to deal some of his surplus strength at the position.

Rumor has it that the Yankees may also still be looking for first base help and possibly another lefty reliever between now and Monday’s 4:00 pm deadline. With the team on a win streak and back out in first place in the division, now is a good time for Cashman to get everything he thinks they might need to go for it. Looks like it could all start happening soon.