BREAKING: Yankees acquire Sonny Gray from Athletics

The Yankees have officially acquired RHP Sonny Gray and $1.5 million in international signing bonus money from the Oakland Athletics for OF Dustin Fowler, INF/OF Jorge Mateo, and RHP James Kaprielian. The deal was first reported by Jack Curry of YES Network, and the deal was reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Photo Credit: Frank Jansky | ICON Sportswire

The Yankees bolstered the bullpen and added some depth at the corner infield positions just two weeks ago when they acquired David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle and Todd Frazier from the Chicago White Sox for a prospect packaged headlined by Blake Rutherford. Now, after weeks of speculation, scouting, and rumors, they have added a much-needed starting rotation piece in this deal with the A's.

Gray, 27, is the perfect fit for the Yankees. He's a young top-line arm under team control through 2019, and he is a ground ball pitcher which will bode well in Yankee season. After an injury ravaged 2016 season, Gray has rebounded very nicely in 2017.

In 16 starts, Gray is 6-5 with a 3.43 ERA to go along with an even better 1.18 WHIP and 3.25 FIP. Over his last six outings, Gray has been nothing short of an ace with a 4-2 record, 1.37 ERA, and .164 BAA.

As for the Yankees, they are parting ways with three prospects, all with significant upside. However, the wanted to keep Estevan Florial, who they view as a potential future centerfielder, and Cashman was able to do that in this deal. He was also able to hold onto Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, Chance Adams, Justus Sheffield, and other talents in the system. Let's take a look at the players they did deal.
Photo Credit: Nam Y. Suh | AP
Dustin Fowler, who turns 23 in December, will be working his way back from a devastating knee injury he suffered in his Major League debut that will keep him out for the rest of this season. Prior to the injury, Fowler was slashing .293/.329/.542 with 13 homers, 43 RBIs, 19 doubles, eight triples, and 13 steals in Triple-A. Fowler has a good bat and good speed to stick in centerfield, but some scouts question if he will tap into his power potential. After his injury, he may also take a step-back and have to move to a corner, but that has yet to be determined. Fowler was the fourth ranked prospect in the Yankee system and no. 77 in baseball according to MLB Pipeline.
Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin | NYDN
The Yankees also dealt another injured prospect in James Kaprielian, who recently underwent Tommy John Surgery. Kaprielian has only made seven minor league appearances (six starts) since he was taken in the first round of the 2016 draft. In those seven career appearances, Kaprielian is 2-2 with a 1.55 ERA, 0.76 WHIP and 36 strikeouts in 29 innings. He just reached High-A in Tampa, but this season was supposed to be a big step for the young righty. Instead, the 23-year-old has not pitched this year.
Photo Credit: Kim Klement | USA TODAY Sports
In the final piece of the deal, the Yankees have the 22-year-old Mateo. Mateo has mixed reviews among scouts, with many questioning his bat, but none questioning his speed. The Yankees' no. eight prospect is slashing .258/.318/.438 with eight homers, 37 RBIs, 25 doubles, 11 triples, and 39 steals in 99 games between Tampa and Trenton this season. He has been much better at the plate since being called up to Triple-A. 

For now, Gray will slot into the middle of the Yankees' rotation, and can prove his worth as the ace depending on how he pitches. The Yankees will get him for the stretch run this season, plus at least two more after that. Acquiring controllable arms was at the top of Cashman's priority list as a careful buyer, and the Yankees have done that in this deal with the Athletics.

Stay tuned for a more opinionated reaction piece to come.

Article by: Chad Raines


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