The Milwaukee Brewers did not get the starting pitcher they desired by the July Trade Deadline. GM David Stearns said he’s still looking for a starting pitcher here in August.
The Brewers don’t need an innings eater to add to their depth. What they need is a starter with the capability to lead the rotation. Outside of this season, Sonny Gray has that pedigree.
Last July, the Milwaukee Brewers were extremely interested in acquiring Sonny Gray from the Oakland Athletics. But Oakland was asking for Milwaukee’s top prospect Lewis Brinson in return. David Stearns obviously balked at that price and Gray was shipped to New York instead.
A year later, Gray has worn out his welcome in New York City. On Wednesday, Gray allowed seven earned runs in 2.2 innings against the Baltimore Orioles, who just sold off their entire offense. He was booed off the mound in Yankee Stadium.
This is bad for the Yankees and it’s bad for Gray. Gray is not well suited for large markets like New York is more of a low-key personality that thrives in a smaller market. That’s why he did so well in Oakland.
The Yankees can’t justify keeping Gray and his 5.56 ERA in the rotation much longer.
Will The Yankees Trade Gray?
Most likely. Teams place most of their players on revocable waivers during August. If they get claimed and the team doesn’t want to lose them, they can just be pulled back. If they clear, they can get traded to anyone during the month.
Gray is going to get placed on waivers, that’s a near guarantee. While it’s not a guarantee that he clears, given his performance, there’s a pretty good chance he will. He’ll be available for trade.
Why Should the Brewers try to acquire Gray?
Looking at Gray’s home-road splits, he does much worse when at Yankee Stadium. He has a 7.71 ERA in New York but has a much more palatable 3.62 ERA outside of New York.
Also, Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson was Gray’s pitching coach in college at Vanderbilt. If anyone knows how to fix Gray and turn him back into a dominant starter, it’s Johnson.
Stearns wanted to get Gray last year, but it would’ve cost him an arm and a leg. This year, the Brewers can get Gray for pennies on the dollar. It won’t cost any real prospects that are seen as future building blocks for the Brewers. The Yankees are going to be desperate to get rid of him.
Also, Gray still has one more year of team control through arbitration. He’s not a rental. So the Brewers will be able to work on fixing Gray not only for this season, but they would have a fully fixed Sonny Gray ready to go for 2019 as well. And it won’t cost anything that the Brewers wouldn’t be willing to part with.
David Stearns could be able to add an ace-level starting pitcher to the staff for practically nothing, with an extra year of control. The Brewers have the ability to fix Gray, and if he gets back to what he was before he became a Yankee, it could be David Stearns best move yet.
There is still much to happen before the Milwaukee Brewers can work out a trade for Sonny Gray. But Gray is likely on the trade block, and Stearns does call on just about everybody.