Trade Deadline: Commodities and their Destinations

Sonny Gray

Stats: 5-4, 3.72 ERA, 79 K in 84.2 IP

Type: Long-term asset

Fits: Milwakee Brewers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros

Gray has been a star for the Athletics, and their hottest commodity with just nine days until the trade deadline. His club control extends past the next few seasons, allowing a contender to add an ace to their rotation for years to come.

The Brewers did not expect to be atop the NL Central at any point this year. Their appearance as buyers shocked many, including their front office. They don’t have a definite strong point on their roster, but they could use an upgrade in their rotation. Adding Gray would bolster their rotation that ranks around the middle of the pack for almost every major stat.

The Yankees similarly did not expect to be in the Wild Card race, or fighting for the division, at the beginning of the year. They are set up to be good next year and beyond, so adding a starting pitcher with future team control makes total sense. The loss of Michael Pineda for the season only strengthens the need for the Yankees, also near the middle in most stats, to pick up a reliable starter.

Houston will have to pay a bit more of Gray’s services, simply because of the in division rivalry. They already have a solid rotation, but they have shown interest in acquiring the A’s best pitcher. This is the only scenario where Gray may not immediately slot into a 1st or 2nd man in the rotation role. If this trade happens, the Astros prove that they are all in on winning this year.

Yonder Alonso

Stats: .269 BA, 21 HR, 44 RBI, 1 SB

Type: Rental

Fits: New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox

The Yankees are the only logical fit for Alonso’s talents,as they have a huge need at first base since Greg Bird went down earlier this season. Their trade for Todd Frazier moved Chase Headley from third to first. Headly, who was already having a mediocre season (.260 BA, 4 HR, 37 RBI), will now have to adjust to an all new position. This could spell disaster for a team that’s fighting for a playoff spot.

The Red Sox are an interesting team to consider, although I highly doubt a trade will happen. Starting first baseman Mitch Moreland has been struggling all season (.245 BA, 12 HR, 42 RBI), and an upgrade at first base would be a sneaky yet rewarding move for the Sox.

Jed Lowrie

Stats: .272 BA, 10 HR, 33 RBI, 0 SB

Type: Rental, team option for 2018

Fits: Boston Red Sox

Although Billy Beane has stated that there have been no phone calls from teams about Jed Lowrie. Whether that is a ploy to draw interest to him or a factual statement, Lowrie could help a plethora of teams as a role player, Ben Zobrist style. He can play all over the infield, save first base. He isn’t a natural third basemen, but the Yankees swiping Todd Frazier from under their nose leaves the trade market for third basemen depleted. Insert Lowrie, a former Red Sox player who could fill in at third if needed.

Rajai Davis

Stats: .227 BA, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 17 SB

Type: Rental

Fits: Colorado Rockies

Rajai Davis will not yield a top 5 prospect from any team. he probably won’t be a starter in the league either. What he does bring, however, is speed. A stolen base in a playoff game could be the deciding factor in a series. Insert Davis into the Rockies’ organization, currently 25th in team stolen bases, and bolster one of the weakest spots on their roster. They can even play him in place of the slumping Carlos Gonzalez.

What to Expect

Athletics fans have to hope that, with each hot commodity traded, impact prospects will be brought in to replace them down the line. The lack of a veteran presence will probably hurt the development of current major league talent, but those staying next year have the hope of a free agent acquisition bringing wisdom to the roster. If anything, Yoenis Cespedes has verbally stated that he has an interest in returning to Oakland, although he does not become a free agent until 2020.

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