Boston Red Sox: Time to Finally Bring Sonny Gray to Boston


It won’t be cheap, but it is time for the Boston Red Sox to bring RHP Sonny Gray to Boston.

We are not even a week removed from the Boston Red Sox signing of David Price and I’m already clamoring for another Dave Dombrowski move. Some people would be happy if that meant moving Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, or Clay Buchholz, but the guy I want Dombrowski to be working on is Oakland Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray.

Gray, who is 26, has been longed linked to the Red Sox via relatively vague rumors, but the fit has always made sense and the Red Sox have plenty of young talent to entice the Athletics. Now is the time for Dave Dombrowski to really put his best offer forward and try to bring the Vanderbuilt Alum to Boston.

In only his second year with in the big leagues, Gray posted a 2.73 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP over 31 starts and was a strong Cy Young candidate at year’s end. Keep in mind the fact that Gray is under team control until 2020 (arbitration eligible after the 2017 season), and it makes too much sense for the Red Sox to go after him.

Coming to Boston, Gray would fill a void in this rotation. Right now, the Red Sox rotation features at least 3 left-handed pitchers (Price, Eduardo Rodriguez, Wade Miley) along with 2 left-handed potential starters (Henry Owens and Brian Johnson). Usually left-handed pitchers are a hot commodity but for the Red Sox they seemingly have a surplus of it.

Bringing Gray would give them that power right-handed starter to compliment Price at the top of the rotation, and almost in-arguably the strongest one, two at the top of the rotation in the American League.

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There have been a few roadblocks along the way when it comes to actually getting Gray to Boston and it begins and ends with Oakland A’s General Manager David Forst. Forst took over for Beane as General Manager this past October after Beane was promoted to Executive Vice President of the team.

Forst was Beane’s assistant for over 10 years, so I don’t believe for one minute that Beane and Forst won’t be on the same page with any major move the team makes.

Gray fits into this because in the past Beane has been hesitant to move Gray, their most valuable player in 2015 without getting a huge return back.

Beane talked to Peter Gammons earlier this offseason regarding Gray’s availability and said: “Trading Gray is not something I think we could do. 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.”

But let’s not forget he said similar statements in 2014 when it came to the topic of trading third basemen Josh Donaldson, but last off season in a stunning move he was traded to Toronto for fellow third basemen Brett Lawrie. So Beane’s word, to me, isn’t worth a whole lot because he seems like a guy you could persuade to get a certain player.

Which is where Dombrowski fits in, he can be the one that opens the dialogue to Forst and Beane about Gray’s avaliabilty. I can guarantee that first phone call (if it hasn’t already happened) went something like this:

"DD: Hey David, Billy. It’s Dave from Boston, we wanted to see if you guys were willing to talk about Son..DF and BB: Dave, Sonny isn’t available. *Hangs up phone*"

Now if you’re Dombrowski, he shouldn’t be frustrated. Remember Beane has been defensive about giving up his talent, but if you keep checking in he starts to open up.

"DD: Hey David, Billy. It’s Dave from Boston again, can’t wait to see you guys down in Nashville this week. I know we talked earlier about Sonny, but there are some other guys we wanted to discuss too.DF and BB: Okay Dave, who did you have in mind? DD: (Dances with Forst and Beane, talking about players that he really has no interest in trading for but keeping them interested so when he brings up Gray again they are open in dialogue).DD: …so anyway, can’t wait to see you guys in Nashville this week so we can talk some more. Let’s plan a meeting to talk about Player X, and Y and Sonny.  DF and BB: Okay Dave, we’ll see you next week. But you know how we feel about Sonny, we can’t see him leaving Oakland."

So essentially Dombrowski should be walking into Nashville with the intention of talking to Forst and Beane about different players but always going back to Gray.

Ultimately the cost for Gray will be a steep one, most likely two Major League players and a strong minor league talent or two. A package with outfielder Jackie Bradley, LHP Henry Owens and a couple of valuable minor league players should at least get the ball rolling for the Red Sox.

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I would do that trade for a few different reasons, one because I mentioned earlier the Red Sox rotation is left-handed heavy and if we can unload a lefty to replace with a power right-hander that is a huge boost to the rotation.

Trading Owens would be difficult, but he is a guy that has had trouble getting over 92-95 consistently and between him and Johnson, I’d take Johnson who can hit 91-93 consistently and has an average to above-average curve ball to pair with it.

Jackie Bradley Jr. would be another guy that I believe would have to be traded in a move for Sonny Gray and I wouldn’t be against him leaving in that deal. For as great as Jackie Bradley Jr. is in the outfield (and he is damn good), the story on him thus far in his career is his inconsistency at the plate.

He has shown spurts of offensive production, like he did in August of this past year but those spurts are few and far between. Trading Bradley right now would be the best move for Dombrowski because he is high right now in people’s minds, an impressive second half at the plate and his stellar defense makes him good trade bait for an established starting pitcher.

Now, the minor league talent going the Athletics’ way would have to be significant. Oakland would undoubtedly insist on start infield prospect Yoan Moncada. The Red Sox would probably be willing to include any other prospects, but would certainly try to keep Moncada out of the talks. However, Gray is a great pitcher. He is going to cost a ton.

The Red Sox simply won’t be able to throw their leftovers at the A’s for Gray, so get that idea out of your head.

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Sonny Gray coming to Boston would propel them from AL East contenders to AL Pennant contenders. A rotation featuring David Price, Sonny Gray, Eduardo Rodriguez, Rick Porcello and Clay Buchholz is a pretty fearsome group.

Dave Dombrowski, it is time to realize the opportunity you have here and make the move that nobody, not even Billy Beane or David Forst, saw coming.