Look, people, it’s called the offseason for a reason. It’s not here for our entertainment, though traditional and social media outlets have successfully conditioned fans to expect constant gratification.
Slow as it’s been, I would’ve thought I’d see more scrutiny of the one interesting thing to happen (almost) over the past couple weeks: Braves’ near-acquisition of Yankees starter-turned-swingman Sonny Gray.
In years past, Gray — the 29 year-old former ace who sported a 4.90 ERA and a 3.17 ERA / 2.65 FIP away from Yankee Stadium last year — would’ve been the kind of buy-low guy maybe one or two of the smartest GMs would’ve honed in on.
Not this offseason. All the whispers surrounding him now suggest to me that Gray is viewed as the best pitcher currently available, that the league’s on to him, and unfortunately for us, that the Yankees get how valuable he is, even with just one remaining year of team control at around $9 million.
Here’s the breakdown of the rumored three-way deal that never was, Smitty’s barber-style:
The clear headliner for the Rangers, Brock Burke, certainly ain’t nothing. He’s 22, a third-rounder from 2014, and his stock took off this season as he put up a 3.08 ERA backed by an 10.4 K/9 and a 2.9 BB/9 across two levels. Burke’s improvement after reaching AA compelled the Rays to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
But make no mistake, we have better pitching prospects with longer track records and a more impressive pedigree.
With the Yankees subsequently adding Troy Tulowitzki, we lost our chance to find a third trading partner who both wants our prospects and can afford to deal a Profar-type fringe MI starter to the Yankees.
What say you, Journalistas? Is just one full season of Sonny Gray worth a pitching prospect better than Brock Burke, like Kyle Muller or Joey Wentz? Did you miss your chance to catch AA asleep on the job because you yourselves were down for the count and dreaming of Bryce Harper?