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Things ‘ramp up’ in Sonny Gray trade talk with Yankees’ CC Sabathia given pitching clearance

Sonny Gray

Two things were certain about the New York Yankees heading into the offseason. First, they needed starting pitching and Sonny Gray was not the answer. Second, they were not happy about seeing the Boston Red Sox hoist that World Series trophy and they will do whatever it takes to make sure it does not happen again.

The Yankees re-signed J.A. Happ to a two-year deal and have James Paxton for the 2019 season. Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka have a stranglehold on the top two spots in the rotation. This leaves one spot left and with CC Sabathia given clearance to pitch, it looks like he will take it.

According to Jon Heyman, talks are beginning to “ramp up” in Sonny Gray trade talks after Sabathia was given the thumbs up. This is no surprise given Gray’s lack of success in the Bronx. In 35 starts as a Yankee, Gray has gone 15-16 with an ERA over four. He has pitched sparingly out of the bullpen during the Yankees’ recent playoff runs.

There are as many as six teams that have shown interest in the right-hander. The San Diego Padres, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland A’s, Seattle Mariners and the Atlanta Braves all have ties to Gray. The one that would make the most sense is Cincinnati. The Reds have made strides in revamping their team. They added Alex Wood to a staff that already included Tanner Roark. Gray would give them a solid base at the front end of their rotation.

It is unknown what the Yankees are asking for in return but bringing in Happ and Paxton gives them security in case they find the right deal.