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MLB trade rumors: NL team looking to add Athletics’ Sonny Gray as a closer

Could the A’s struggling starter make a move to the bullpen with another club?

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One National League club is possibly looking to make a trade for Athletics starter Sonny Gray and move him to the bullpen as its closer, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Gray, 27, has been the focal point of trade rumors for weeks now, specifically being linked to the divisional rival Astros. The A’s are looking at a potential last-place finish in the division and are likely looking to accumulate more young and cheap talent.

The interest in Gray as a starter is obvious given his resume. However, the idea that a team wants to use him as a closer is certainly interesting and surprising. Gray hasn’t come out of the bullpen since his first major league outings back in 2013, and hasn’t heard any possibility about the A’s using him in a bullpen role despite some struggles in the rotation this season.

The righty currently holds a 4.84 ERA, and was tagged for five runs in five innings against the Astros in his last start. Despite the struggles, many teams still see him as one of the top starting pitchers likely to be on the trading block next month, along with Jose Quintana and Gerritt Cole.

The most likely buyers in the National League are the Nationals, Cubs, Diamondbacks and Rockies. The Dodgers are obviously in contention but already have an established closer in Kenley Jansen. The closer market may be thin when the trade deadline arrives, so one of these teams may be looking to use Gray as a closer in an effort to shorten the bullpen.