About an hour before the 2017 MLB Trade Deadline Monday afternoon, the New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics agreed to a deal that would send frontline starting pitcher Sonny Gray to New York in exchange for outfielder Dustin Fowler, infielder/outfielder Jorge Mateo, and righty James Kaprielian. Jack Curry of YES Network was the first to announce that a deal had been met.
Gray to the Yankees had been rumored for days but as the deadline approached, nothing seemed imminent.
In 16 starts for Oakland this season, Gray has a 3.43 ERA as well as his best strikeout rate since his rookie year in 2013. He joins a rotation of Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, CC Sabathia, Jordan Montgomery, and newly acquired Jaime Garcia. It’s not yet clear how the Yankees and manager Joe Girardi will handle their starting rotation. The manager did say after the acquisition the team would not go to a six-man rotation.
One option could be sending Montgomery to the bullpen, which would help with any potential innings limit on the rookie arm. Gray, along with Tanaka, Severino, and Sabathia are locks to remain in the rotation. So it’s either Montgomery or Garcia that gets placed in the bullpen.
Whatever the decision is, a front-four of Tanaka, Severino, Gray, and Sabathia is a formidable rotation as the Yankees make a push to win the American League East and make a deep playoff run.
In Fowler, Kaprielian, and Mateo, the Yankees give up some well thought of prospects but hold on to some they felt were untouchable. Kaprielian has missed the 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on April 18. Fowler made his Major League debut with the Yankees on June 29 but ruptured his patella tendon in his right knee before even getting his first at-bat, when he crashed into the right field wall in foul territory after chasing down a ball.
After beginning the season in High-A, Mateo was promoted to Double-A Trenton Thunder. He is batting a combined .258 with 25 doubles, eight home runs, and 39 stolen bases. Throughout his career, he’s been known as an extremely athletic speedster.
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