MLB Trade Rumors: Athletics prefer Estevan Florial over Clint Frazier as centerpiece of Sonny Gray trade

As we close in on Major League Baseball’s non-waiver Trade Deadline tomorrow afternoon, the Yankees are still deep in discussions with the Oakland Athletics over star right hander Sonny Gray.  Per Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the A’s prefer New York’s up and coming outfield prospect Estevan Florial, currently the Yankees’ fifth ranked prospect per, over current Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier.  

Photo Credit: Mark Blinch, Associated Press

Frazier, of course, has already made his presence felt at the big league level, and Yankees’ General Manager Brian Cashman has stressed that both he and injured top-rated infielder Gleyber Torres are strictly off limits. As for Florial, the Athletics prefer a centerfielder as the centerpiece which explains the Florial over Frazier logic.

Photo Credit: Jerry Coli | Pinstriped Prospects

After missing the first month of the season due to injury, Gray has pitched to a 6-5 record, sporting a steady 3.43 ERA, 1.175 WHIP, 3.24 FIP and 122 ERA+. Those numbers represent a night and day improvement over what the Yankees have gotten from Michael Pineda, and more recently, Luis Cessa and recently demoted Caleb Smith this season.

Per Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports, the Yankees and Athletics are actively discussing names this morning and it appears that a deal is highly likely to get done before tomorrow’s deadline.  The final package is still to be determined, but it seems more and more likely that the Yankees will make Florial the centerpiece of the trade, while holding onto Frazier and Torres as well as top arms Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield.

Sonny Gray’s appeal to the Yankees over other available starters like Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish is that he is younger, under team control through 2019, and comes at a much lower annual salary.  Sonny Gray could team up with Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka to give the Yankees a lethal 1-2-3 punch down the stretch this season, and - in the event Tanaka does not opt-out of his contract - for years to come.

Article by: Andrew Natalizio


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