The Seattle Mariners were reportedly among the teams present at Sonny Gray’s most recent start, but agreeing a deal for him is highly unlikely.
On Monday, Matt Calkins of The Seattle Times, predicted that this is the year the Seattle Mariners will finally end their postseason drought. Already, fans could be forgiven for accusing Calkins of putting a hex on the M’s season, with the team losing three straight.
This three-game losing streak included Tuesday night’s 8-2 defeat at home, to the Philadelphia Phillies. The loss was particularly galling, given the Phillies have both the worst away record and overall record in the Majors.
Regardless, if the Mariners are to end the longest current postseason drought in baseball, the rotation will play a significant part. At one point, they had four members of their ideal starting five on the disabled list.
And even though the injury list is slowly clearing up, the M’s are still without Hisashi Iwakuma and Drew Smyly. Making matters worse, both have suffered recent setbacks in the recovery and neither has any timeline for their return to the mound.
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As such, it should come as no surprise that Seattle is searching for some pitching help, as we count down to the July 31 trade deadline. This includes taking a look at Sonny Gray.
As reported by the Score, the Mariners were one of several teams in attendance for Gray’s most recent start. The news was originally reported by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, who writes that the right-hander is emerging as one of the top available pitching options, ahead of the trade deadline.
This is interesting, given that the 27-year old had a disastrous season last year, with a 5-11 record and a career-high 5.69 ERA. In fairness though, he had various setbacks during 2016, which included two stints on the DL.
Before then, Gray had proved to be sensational during his first three years in the Majors. He had a starting record of 33-20, an ERA of 2.88 and a 1.134 WHIP.
So far in 2017, the 2015 All-Star has had an inconsistent campaign, registering a 3-3 record in 11 starts, along with a 4.45 ERA and 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings. At least his most recent start against the Chicago White Sox proved to be a good time for teams to attend, with him giving up just four hits and two runs in seven innings.
One other factor to consider, is Gray’s reasonable contract situation. His salary for this season is $3.575 million, while he is arbitration-eligible and under team control for the next two years.
As such, it’s no wonder the Nashville, Tennessee native is receiving interest from teams such as the Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves. And while the Mariners’ intrigue is perfectly understandable, it is their position compared to those other teams, which puts them at a disadvantage.
Pure and simple, if the Oakland Athletics do end up moving Gray between now and July 31, are they really going to trade him to a divisional rival? If they do decide to go down this road, you imagine they will demand a bigger compensation package from the M’s.
Overall, the Mariners are absolutely right to consider making a move for the 2011 first round draft pick. Ultimately though, their chances are lower than other teams on the interested list.
How realistic is it to expect the Mariners to agree a trade for Gray? Further, what sort of package would it take, to make the deal happen and is he even worth it? Share your thoughts in the comments section.