After days of speculation that the Yankees would ultimately be able to land an obvious upgrade to their rotation, the deal for Sonny Gray is complete. New York seemed to be the favorite for Gray all along and Brian Cashman was finally able to land his guy.
The Athletics were originally asking for one of Gleyber Torres or Clint Frazier in the Gray talks, and Cashman was not willing to part with either one. As it seemed like the Yankees were by far the most involved team in negotiations, the price began to fall.
Gray represents a solid starter that the Yankees can basically pencil in right behind Luis Severino in their rotation. He is under control for two years beyond 2017 which will help mitigate the potential loss of CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka in free agency, if it comes to that.
In 97 innings so far this season, Gray has pitched to a 3.43 ERA with a 3.24 WHIP. His 2.2 fWAR so far would be second among Yankee starters behind only Severino. With the Yankees going out and getting Jaime Garcia on Sunday, Gray could help them ease Jordan Montgomery through what seems likely to be an innings limit down the stretch. Montgomery has fallen off a bit in July, possibly due to fatigue, which makes the acquisition of Gray all the more important.
Cashman was able to land Gray without parting with Estevan Florial, the outfield prospect whose rise made parting with Blake Rutherford in the David Robertson/Tommy Kahnle trade possible. Instead, the Yankees will be sending Jorge Mateo, James Kaprielian, and Dustin Fowler to Oakland.
Mateo has torn the cover off the ball at Double-A, but Fowler and Kaprielian are both injured. Obviously both those guys will be working to return to form, but the fact that Cashman was able to trade them for an asset like Gray without giving up Florial is huge.