Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray has drawn a lot of attention this season, most recently from a mystery National League team looking to convert him into a closer. Now the Red Sox have joined the Yankees, Cubs and Astros in pursuit of the righty. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Boston has had high-ranking scouts within the organization attend Gray’s last two starts.
The Red Sox haven’t had great luck with pitchers this season, with David Price missing significant time due to injury before Stephen Wright, Eduardo Rodriguez and Brian Johnson all went down with ailments of their own. The Sox have also seen Drew Pomeranz and Rick Porcello struggle a bit, leading to the waiver-wire pickup of Doug Fister. Another arm for insurance purposes alone seems like a move Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski would make in a heartbeat, if the price is right.
Gray is one of the top arms available on this year’s trade market due to his past performance (3.52 ERA and 10.2-WAR in five major-league seasons) and contract (he’s under control through 2019). Oakland is expected to make him available if he pitches well between now and July 31, and is expected to be one of the more aggressive sellers on a sellers’ market.
Boston’s recent deals for Craig Kimbrel, Drew Pomeranz and Chris Sale mean that the Sox don’t have as many top prospects to shop around as their competitors in New York, Houston and Chicago. For that reason, it seems unlikely Dombrowski would match the asking price of Billy Beane, who can extract talent from deep farm systems in any of those places.