Sonny Gray was one of the most targeted players this past offseason by teams looking to add a top-of-the-rotation starter to their lineup. The Oakland Athletics continually told teams no, even with players like Shelby Miller giving the Atlanta Braves a king’s ransom in return for his departure. Now it looks as if the A’s made a huge mistake.
Gray has turned around his performance a bit lately, but he still shows no signs of being the pitcher he has been for the last three years. Even with the uptick in performance lately, he is sporting a 5.03 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 63 strikeouts in 78.2 innings (14 starts). To say his trade value has taken a hit would be a huge understatement.
An All-Star who was third in the AL Cy Young voting just last year, Gray does have the potential to get back to his former self. It is quite ridiculous to hear A’s fans talk about how he just had a rough patch and is back to his normal self. That is nowhere near the case. Teams that might be interested in trading for him know this as well.
Sure, Gray hit the disabled list in the middle of May, which could explain his early troubles, but he hasn’t exactly been stellar since coming back either. He has given up eight runs in 18 innings in his last three starts. It is starting to become clear that Gray is not the front-of-the-rotation starter most people thought he would be.
The problem with Gray’s situation is that the organization and A’s fans both still believe he is the guy from last year. All that is going to do is disappoint and put more pressure on Gray, and he truly doesn’t need that at this point. Unfortunately for the A’s, they really don’t have a legitimate replacement for Gray at this time.
Trading Gray would be a bad move, his value is lower than ever. Expecting an ace on the mound every time he pitches is just unrealistic. Inevitably, the A’s are just going to have to hope for the best and keep Gray as their ace of now, and No. 2 or No. 3 in the future. For a team that is known for its player turnover, that might be easier said than done.