Astros Rumors: Are the Astros the frontrunners for Sonny Gray?

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 19: Sonny Gray
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 19: Sonny Gray /

A’s beat writer says the Astros are one of the frontrunners for Sonny Gray.

It has been relatively quiet in terms of Astros rumors at the moment. The team is 67-33, it’s hard to think that there is too much wrong with this team. While there are differences of opinions around what Houston should trade for, it all revolves around pitching.

The team could use a backend lefty reliever or a top of the rotation pitcher. Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers are top of the rotation pitchers despite injuries and struggles. It seems like the Astros are looking for a top pitcher for the playoffs.

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With a slew of mid rotation guys, Jeff Luhnow will not be after just another arm. If recent rumors mean anything, it would appear that most of the focus has been on two starters. They are the 29-year-old Sonny Gray and the 34-year-old Justin Verlander.

Most of the recent talk around the Astros have been surrounding Verlander. However, with the money owed and a no trade clause, it will be difficult to pull off the trade. If the Astros eat more of the salary, then they would have to give up less prospects.

Many suitors for Gray.

Like Verlander, Gray is under team control through the 2019 season. Gray will be much cheaper though, so you might have to give more prospects up. Plus, Gray is the top available pitcher on the trade market, so the Astros will have competition.

Before yesterday’s Athletics game, there were some rumors that the Yankees were ready to trade for Gray. Everyone watched to see if Gray warmed up before the game, which he did. Gray pitched six innings, allowing four unearned runs while striking out nine.

After the game, A’s beat writer Susan Slusser listed the seven teams who scouted Gray last night. They were the Yankees, Brewers, Cubs, Indians, Royals, Dodgers, and Pirates. One team that Slusser did not mention having scouts there were the Astros. She hinted that the team has scouted Gray enough to know what he can offer.

According to Slusser, the Astros are one of the frontrunners to land Gray. The Dodgers and Yankees have the assets to trade for Gray. Could this be true, is this just a waiting game? Gray has a 6-5 record with a 3.43 ERA with 94 strikeouts in 97 innings.

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For what it’s worth, we have discussed this for a while on Talking Stros. We have speculated that the Astros already have a decent package on the table. The Athletics are waiting them out, seeing what they could get from other teams. Billy Beane is also probably waiting Luhnow out over Forrest Whitley or Kyle Tucker.

An example of a deal that we have discussed on Talking Stros could have Houston offering a package of Teoscar Hernandez, Daz Cameron, Franklin Perez, and maybe a catching prospect. It’s hard to imagine Derek Fisher not being part of a deal. If Luhnow can hold onto the top prospects, it will be impressive. It’s going to hurt.

Next: Astros trade deadline plans have changed

By next Monday, Gray will likely be wearing a different uniform. It has been rumored that the Athletics are looking for a young centerfielder in return for Gray. Fisher or Hernandez fits that need,  but they probably want Tucker. We will see what the next few days turns up.

***Stats from Baseball-Reference***