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A Change of Scenery on Horizon for Sonny Gray

It looks like Sonny Gray’s troubled tenure with the New York Yankees is soon coming to an end.

The Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers are reportedly working on a deal involving Gray. At the beginning of the offseason, Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman made it clear he would trade Gray.

The Vanderbilt alum has spent the last season and a half with New York after the Bombers acquired him in a trade with the Oakland Athletics in 2017.

The 29-year-old had an abysmal season in 2018 and eventually was pulled out of the starting rotation. Gray finished the season 11-9 with a 4.90 ERA, striking out 123 over 130.1 innings of work.

Gray started 11 games in 2017 for the Yanks, going 4-7 with a 3.72 ERA. These stats were positive and generated some hope for the righty for 2018.

It was evident over Gray’s first three seasons in Oakland that he had top notch stuff. He was the ace of the A’s staff. His signature moment came when he matched Justin Verlander’s performance in the 2013 ALDS. 2015 was Gray’s best season, finishing 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA, good for third in the American League Cy Young race.

Gray simply could not put it all together in New York. He was more successful on the road than at home, and the difference in numbers were staggering.  In 15 games away from Yankee Stadium Gray pitched to a 3.17 ERA compared to a 6.18 ERA in 15 home appearances. Gray failed to handle the spotlight of the Big Apple.

The home/road splits suggest that a change of scenery could revitalize Gray’s career.  Knowing Cashman, he will be looking for useful pieces back in any deal for Gray. I do not expect him to just give Gray away.

Milwaukee needs starting pitching, and Gray would certainly fit the mold of a number two or three starter for the Brew Crew. The Brewers are fresh off a trip to the National League Championship series and were one game from the World Series. Milwaukee made it this far despite a weak starting rotation.

The Brewers rotation is filled with a lot of question marks. One of Milwaukee’s top starters Jimmy Nelson, is expected to return to the rotation after missing all of 2018 with a shoulder injury. An addition of Gray can help mitigate any concerns the Brewers have in the back of the rotation.

After the Yankees acquisition of James Paxton from Seattle and their chase for Patrick Corbin, the Bombers are no longer in need of Gray’s services.

Even if it is not Milwaukee, fully expect Gray to be wearing a new uniform in 2019.

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