The Oakland Athletics started off hot, with hopes of the playoffs in all fans’ minds. Those hopes have quickly vanished though as the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners continue to stay hot and battle it out for the AL West crown. Sure, the season is young, but it is time to start thinking about the long term.
When it came to the long term, the A’s were not comfortable giving up ace Sonny Gray this past offseason after his 2015 campaign in which he came in third for the Cy Young Award. It seems that the hesitation by the front office could end up hurting the future of the A’s. For a low budget, prospect-driven team like the A’s, the future is everything.
Gray has started the 2016 season miserably, currently sporting a 5.84 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP in eight starts. He has also gotten attacked for eight home runs this season, in comparison to the 17 he had last year in 31 starts. Unfortunately for the A’s, all this has done is lower the value of Gray.
The time is now for the A’s to act and trade Gray. He is only one year removed from the remarkable season he had in 2015 and teams are still interested in him. There is no way the A’s will get anywhere close to what they could have received this previous offseason, but the offers will still be substantially better than if Gray continues to struggle.
Gray has a bright future, but there could be some struggles along the way. The longer Gray struggles, the more time rival GMs have to factor in things like the A’s ballpark size (known as a pitcher’s park) and Oakland’s low intensity media market. Although those might not be relevant to Gray, just the suggestion of it could lower his potential value.
All MLB teams seem to be waiting for this trading frenzy that is supposed to occur this next offseason, considering the free agents available. It seems the A’s might be betting all their chips on trading Gray next offseason, but it could be too late. The time for the A’s to strike is now.
Considering what management has done before in the way of evaluating prospects, this could be another slam dunk for the A’s. There is no need to be frightened of the big trade after the Josh Donaldson move. It’s time to make the big splash and trade Gray, the sooner the better.