Boston Red Sox SP Trade Target: Athletics’ Sonny Gray


With the team clearly lacking primary talent at the top, the Boston Red Sox are going to be in the market for starting pitching this off season. Finding an ace pitcher will be the Red Sox’s first and most important order of business throughout the off season.

They could certainly look to free agency to fill this hole. Landing David Price, Johnny Cueto or Zack Greinke would immediately fix their issue of not having an ace. President Dave Dombrowski is not afraid to spend in free agency, and I would not be surprised to see the Red Sox become major players on guys like Price, Cueto and Greinke.

That being said, is that the really best option out there? Rarely do large free agent contracts work out well throughout the length of the deal. Red Sox’s fans know this well. Make no mistake, pitching is at a premium, and these guys are going to get PAID. Down the road, the free agent contract that these guys receive this off season is probably going to look ugly. Especially, when you consider the injury volatility of an MLB pitcher.

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The more I think about it, the more I think the Red Sox should be targeting trade targets to help fix their starting pitching issues. With a deep pool of young position players to use as bait, the Red Sox could certainly do some damage in the starting pitching trade market.

Dombrowski has a history of aggressively adding to his big league club by using the trade route. With reports already surfacing of Dombrowski looking to trade from the Red Sox’s deep system, attacking the trade market for high-level starting pitching may actually be the Red Sox’s primary plan.

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I believe that the Red Sox will aggressively pursue upgrades in the rotation via trade, and it is a smart move. To prepare, I want to take a look at potential trade candidates for the Red Sox. Through the next few weeks, I am going to look at logical starting pitchers who could be obtained by the Red Sox in the trade market.

To kick if off, we have already taken a look at Cleveland Indians RHP Carlos Carrasco and New York Mets right-handed pitchers Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Today, we are going to go cross-country to take a look at Oakland Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray. Would Billy Beane want to tango?

The Athletics general manager has never been afraid to move players in their prime before, but trading the 26-year-old Gray may be taking it to another level.

Gray is a proven ace with a ton of project-ability and team control remaining. Fresh off of a last-place finish, the Athletics could be willing to listen on a player like Gray, as they are always looking down the road trying to find the cost-effective way to build a ball club.

However, Peter Gammons recently say down with Beane, and the Athletics’ GM shot down the notion that Gray was on the trade block.

"“Trading Gray is not something I think we could do,” Beane told Gammons. “We have to put a representative product on the field, and continue to dream we get a ballpark. We should have good pitching, with Gray, Jarrod Parker, Kendall Graveman, Jesse Hahn, Chris Bassitt, maybe Sean Manaea during the season. I just cannot see us trading Gray or (Josh) Reddick.”"

Fair enough. I am sure Beane does not want to move a bona-fide ace pitcher right at the beginning of his prime years. Gray is set-up to be one of the best pitchers in baseball for a very long time, and giving that up has to be incredibly difficult. That being said, if the Red Sox are serious about finding an ace, they have the pieces to make a deal for Gray work.

Say Dombrowski offered up centerfielder Mookie Betts and LHP Henry Owens in exchange for Gray? Beane would have a hard time turning a deal like that down. Obviously, giving up Betts and Owens would be tough for the Red Sox to swallow, but to trade for quality, you have to give up quality.

The asking price would be sky-high, but a guy like Gray could certainly be worth it. Especially for a pitching needy team like the Red Sox.

Next: Red Sox: Five Realistic Blockbuster Trades

Landing Gray would be among the most difficult moves to pull off for the Red Sox this off season. That being said, with their impressive stock of young talent and Dombrowski’s aggressive style, it is not something that I would rule out.