After Sonny Gray started the year poorly and went on the disabled list for a little while, the conventional wisdom has been that the A’s would be less tempted to move last year’s third place finisher in the AL Cy Young voting at this year’s August 1 non-waiver trade deadline. Saturday, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag Sports made perhaps the most definitive, though not surprising, declaration that Gray would be sticking around, “Always a long-shot to be traded at the deadline, Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray is ‘going nowhere,’ a source says.”
This latest pronouncement comes on the heels of Heyman saying the A’s are “not engaging” on Gray on July 21. San Francisco Chronicle A’s beat writer Susan Slusser gets into exactly why it was so unlikely that Oakland would move Gray:
FWIW there's a reason no one was writing anything at all about Sonny Gray as deadline approaches. #Athletics would never sell low on him.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 30, 2016
It just wasn't ever even a consideration. And contenders not looking to add starter struggling the way Gray has all year.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 30, 2016
Considering the way the trade market for pitchers has seemed to favor sellers, offers for Gray at peak performance could have been extremely tempting. Of course, if Sonny Gray had been at peak performance that also might have meant the club could have been at least considering a strong push to contend instead of considering its position 10 games back of the AL Wild Card.
Gray will start Sunday in place of trade candidate Rich Hill, who is still trying to build up a callus in bullpen sessions that will prevent a blister issue from developing, Slusser reported Friday.
There are just under 50 hours to go until the trade deadline hits at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, August 1. Stay with Athletics Nation for all the latest news and rumors.