With the Chicago White Sox having traded Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs, the spotlight now shifts to other starting pitchers who may be available head of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Among them is Oakland Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray.
Oakland entered play Saturday night 40-50 and well out of the American League West race and 6.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot. In the event they become sellers, the A’s don’t figure to have any shortage of suitors for Gray.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Dodgers were among the teams with scouts in attendance for Gray’s start Friday night against the Cleveland Indians:
With scouts from the Astros, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and Blue Jays among those on hand at the Coliseum, Sonny Gray put together another strong start and in doing so probably hastened his departure from Oakland.
Gray’s outing didn’t come without some confusion as a report of him getting scratched from the start fueled trade speculation. Oakland shortly thereafter dispelled the rumor, and the 27-year-old went on to have one of his better starts of the season.
Gray turned in six shutout innings, limiting the Indians to two hits while striking out five. He suffered a lat strain during Spring Training that required a three-week shutdown period, which in turn led to Gray spending the first month of the season on the disabled list.
On the year he’s 5-4 with a 3.72 ERA, 3.47 FIP, 1.16 WHIP, and is averaging 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings, which is Gray’s highest since his 9.4 strikeouts per nine as a rookie in 2013.
The Dodgers were linked to Gray last year but instead acquired Rich Hill and Josh Reddick from the A’s. Oakland executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane later credited his relationship with Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi for the trade being completed.
In addition to the aforementioned teams that were represented by scouts at Gray’s start, the Cleveland Indians and Cubs have been linked to the righty as well. Gray is under team control via salary arbitration through the 2019 season.