Ben Margot/Associated Press
Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline arrives on Monday at 4 p.m. ET, and there is a lot that remains to be settled.
All of the attention leading up to the deadline revolves around pitching. Specifically, two American League West starters in Sonny Gray of the Oakland Athletics and Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers.
The A’s know they are in a rebuilding phase, entering Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Twins with the AL’s second-worst record, and would do well to find a trade partner for Gray now rather than run the risk of having him potentially injure himself in August or September to diminish his trade value.
The Rangers are part of a large AL cluster sitting under .500 but are theoretically in the wild-card race because no one has been able to pull away from the pack. They could turn things around in the final two months of the regular season, but Darvish’s looming free agency makes it difficult to wait.
Looking at where the trade winds are blowing, here’s what to expect in the time remaining before the clock runs out on non-waiver trading.
The Gray Market
Because he has two years of team control left after 2017, Gray is the most valuable trade asset on the market. The 27-year-old has a 3.43 ERA with 94 strikeouts in 97 innings, including a 0.98 ERA in three starts since the All-Star break.
What isn’t clear is whether Gray will be moved—or just how many teams are in on the bidding.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported Thursday the Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers are “not significantly involved” in discussions with the A’s.
The New York Yankees appear to still be discussing Gray, though FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported the Athletics have asked for packages that include either outfielder Clint Frazier or shortstop Gleyber Torres.
Among that group of suitors, the Yankees make the most sense as Gray’s landing spot. Their starting rotation ranks ninth in MLB, with a 4.16 ERA, but Michael Pineda is…