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MLB trade rumors: Astros talks for Sonny Gray heating up?

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE (9:00 pm): The A’s and Astros aren’t engaged in serious talks at the moment, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman. Houston may be setting its sights elsewhere.

ORIGINAL: Trade talks between the Astros and Athletics for Sonny Gray are “heating up,” according to’s Jon Morosi.

Houston has long been linked to Gray, arguably the top starter left on this year’s trade market. The Astros are also interested in acquiring a package of pitchers Justin Verlander and Justin Wilson from Detroit, according to Morosi, but Gray may be the more attainable option.

Gray has drawn interest from many clubs, with the Brewers, Cubs, Indians, Royals, Yankees and Dodgers being linked to him to this point. Houston would like to add him to a rotation mix that already includes All-Stars Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers, potentially giving the club a dangerous three-headed monster for the postseason.

If general manager Jeff Luhnow is serious about acquiring Gray, he’ll likely have to give up a package similar to the four-player group that the Cubs traded to the White Sox for Jose Quintana. Houston recently had five prospects rank in the top 100 in baseball, with Kyle Tucker, Franklin Perez, Francis Martes, Derek Fisher and Forrest Whitley all ranking in the top 58. Tucker and Whitley appear to be untouchable.