UPDATE (Wednesday): Seattle is indeed interested in Gray and is one of many teams involved, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi.
FOX’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the M’s and A’s haven’t spoken in about a week, though he cites rival executives who believe Seattle is a serious threat to land their division rival’s ace. Rosenthal reports that Oakland had interest in Tyler O’Neill before the Mariners traded him to St. Louis for Marco Gonzales, speculating that a package headlined by top prospect Kyle Lewis and major-leaguer Mitch Haniger may be the basis for Seattle’s attempt at Gray.
"He is going for it these next two years," the source said of Dipoto. "If he is going for it, he might as well go completely in."
Gray is one of the top arms available due to his past performance. The 27-year-old right-hander has posted a 3.45 ERA and 11.7-WAR in five major-league seasons. In addition, the former All-Star has a team-friendly contract, as he is making only $3.575 million this season after agreeing to a one-year deal last January to avoid arbitration. He is also under control through 2019, giving contenders a pitcher who can not only help them win now but also help them keep vying for the postseason for possibly two more seasons.
Gray has drawn interest from the Brewers, Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, a mysterious National League team that is possibly looking to convert him to a closer and others so far. But, the Mariners add some intrigue to this because they are only 2 1⁄2 games back of a wild card spot and Dipoto has already made two trades to try to help them make a run at the postseason. He acquired right-handed reliever David Phelps from the Marlins for four prospects -- outfielder Brayan Hernandez and pitchers Brandon Miller, Lukas Schiraldi and Pablo Lopez. Dipoto then traded prospect Tyler O'Neill to the Cardinals for left-hander Marco Gonzales.
Even if they don’t make it this year, the Mariners would have a quality staff coming back, with Gray, Felix Hernandez and James Paxton leading the way. Regardless, Dipoto will still be looking for ways to add controllable starters like he did with Gonzales last week.