Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Michael Pineda Out, Sonny Gray In?

EDIT: This was written before news broke that Michael Pineda would indeed be having Tommy John surgery today.

It has all been decided that Yankees right-handed starter Michael Pineda is having Tommy John surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right throwing elbow. It’s a huge blow to the Yankees in 2017 and an even bigger blow to Pineda who was set to hit free agency at the end of the 2017 campaign. When you have a torn UCL and you head for a second opinion you can generally get a second, third and fourth opinion and you usually will still need the season-ending surgery so the sooner it gets done the sooner Pineda can return to the mound. That’s the 2018 season at the earliest and the Yankees cannot afford to think about 2018 or even 2019 while the team is still in the thick of things here in 2017 so it’s time to start thinking about a replacement. How about Sonny Gray?

Now I know I have been wishy-washy on Gray in the past and I know I have been quick to point out his injury history and inconsistencies over the past few seasons but that was before Pineda was lost for the season with the ulnar collateral ligament tear. This changes everything. Well, it doesn’t change everything. Let me explain.

The Yankees still shouldn’t and still shouldn’t have to part with top prospects like Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield for Gray. I wouldn’t give the Oakland Athletics Chance Adams for Gray either, not with Adams so close to the Major Leagues. Who would I give up for Gray you ask? I’d give the Athletics their choice of prospects, maybe three or four, and I would include Jake Cave, Jorge Mateo, Billy McKinney, Domingo Acevedo, Jorge Guzman, Albert Abreu, Domingo German, Tyler Wade and many of the prospects in Double-A or below along with Luis Cessa who isn’t technically a prospect anymore.

Would this be enough? I’m not sure, only Brian Cashman knows that at this point. It is encouraging that Cashman seemingly and openly has a good working relationship with the A’s general manager as well as Billy Beane so anything is possible. The Athletics have not been shy about trading starting pitching at the deadline, see Rich Hill and Scott Kazmir as recent examples of this, so there’s no reason to believe the team won’t do so again this July. Whether the Yankees be willing to pony up the prospects for Gray who not only protects the team in 2017 but beyond 2017 as well, something Michael Pineda sis not, is anyone’s guess. I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out. 


  1. Take Mateo out of your list and it is good. He still has a huge ceiling.

    1. Jon, I have been on the band wagon for Mateo a long time! But, after watching him in a few games this year (and last) I think his EGO has done him in as far as this system is concerned. He has to have a big time attitude adjustment for him to ever be the player he could become, even with another team.

    2. I agree that Mateo has a huge ceiling but one must remember that to receive something you have to give something. When it's a salary dump that's a little different because the salary relief counts as what you are giving. In this case the A's don't necessarily need to trade Gray so they won't just give him away.

  2. Domingo Acevedo is not to be traded, there is to much up side to him. He may yet turn out to be a starter but, IF not, picture this: "ACE" in the 7th, followed by Betances and then hope that the closer gets it right!
    I watched "ACE" pitch this year, two times...he did very well!
    WE can still get the BP set right if they bring up a pitcher or two that are good enough for the BP i.e. only two pitches!
    McKinney, Jake Cave and Mateo are good players just not room for them yet! Any one of those guys will come back to hurt us big time, why just throw them away...instead of three or four players, ad one of those three to any other one or two and a trade can get done!


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)