Sonny Gray doesn’t have much value to the Yankees, but he could turn out to be a difference maker for the Brewers in 2019.
The Brewers managed to win a hotly contested NL Central race by one game last season. That means Milwaukee’s front office can’t afford to take their position atop the division for granted this offseason. Instead, they need to evaluate every potential opportunity to improve their ballclub.
That’s exactly why reports from New York claim that the Brewers are one of the teams most interested in mercifully ending Sonny Gray’s tenure with the Yankees. Milwaukee is one of a rumored 11 teams that have spoken to Brian Cashman about his distressed asset, but they are seen to be one of the teams most interested in moving for Gray.
As far as potential destinations for Gray, Milwaukee could be the ideal fit. His inability to thrive in New York makes it pretty clear he’s not mentally equipped to handle a big market. Moving to Wisconsin could give him the space he needs to rediscover the fine pitching form he showed earlier in his career.
Any team looking to roll the dice on Gray should be an organization with legitimate playoff aspirations. Rebuilding teams shouldn’t spend valuable resources trying to rehabilitate a pitcher who could possibly be broken. The payoff of an extra win or two just wouldn’t be worth the hassle.
The Brewers are clearly a team who can benefit from a rejuvenated Gray. If he can provide them positive value in 2019 it could help them reach the playoffs again. That may not be the most likely outcome, but it’s certainly inside the realm of possibility.
The reality that Milwaukee doesn’t need him to develop into an ace should also increase the chances of him kick starting his career. Jhoulys Chacin will fill that role for the Brewers. If Gray can fit in as an above average No. 3 or No. 4 starter for the Brew Crew they should be very satisfied.
The one variable we haven’t discussed here is what the Brewers might be asked to give up in a deal for Gray. There’s been zero concrete reporting on that so far, but it’s safe to assume the price won’t be outrageous. A decent prospect and/or a bullpen arm with upside should be enough to satisfy the Yankees. They are, after all, highly motivated sellers.
Making a trade for Gray would be a risky move for the Brewers, but it’s a transaction that would carry significant upside. If the price is right, Milwaukee should pounce on the talented righty.