"The trade deadline can be a insane time, because teams can come out of the woodwork, but I'm just keeping the status quo". The only question for the A's was whether to move their top trade chip now or wait until the offseason, when Gray still would have had value. We took a look at the four biggest losers of the trade deadline.
Although several clubs have expressed concern about Gray's injury history, the fact that he isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2019 season has been a major selling point for the A's in trade talks. Many assumed that Gray would command a serious return from a contender, but that ended up being wrong.
As for the 22-year old Jorge Mateo, once a highly touted and untouchable prospect, he was expendable because the Yankees are rich with infield prospects with Torres, who is expected to recover and be a part of this new core. He was acquired by Atlanta from St. Louis in a trade on December 1. They trailed Milwaukee by 5 1/2 games in the NL Central, and there was no sign of a turnaround on the horizon.
"Our fans have a lot to do with it", A's manager Bob Melvin said, noting his team made dramatic comeback wins a trademark his first year with the team in 2012. Well, St. Louis didn't make any deadline deals, losing the chance to get anything in exchange for Lynn.
Earlier this month, they dealt relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Washington Nationals. Michael Pineda's elbow injury, which required Tommy John surgery, caused the Yankees to search for more starting pitching.
If the A's can't succeed in the regular season, they want to succeed in the trading season, and Gray is their biggest chip. Instead, they acquired reliever Jeremy Jeffress from the Texas Rangers.
Reed, a 28-year-old pending free agent, picked up from the Diamondbacks on August 30, 2015, enjoyed a nice little renaissance in NY, posting a 2.09 ERA with 9.9 K/9 in 142 innings since then and taking over for the absent Jeurys Familia to not 19 saves with a 2.57 ERA and 8.8 K/9 in 49 innings this year.
In his past six starts, Gray has a 1.37 ERA with 36 strikeouts and allowed two earned runs or fewer in all six games.
Maybe the Brewers can help Jeffress turn things around this season. Sheffield, another untouchable that throws hard is part of this core group that came in the deal for Andrew Miller at the deadline a year ago.
Last season, the scuffling Yankees stockpiled prospects at the trade deadline by dealing away veteran stars Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran.
The Dodgers haven't won the World Series since 1988, when Orel Hershiser was their ace. The Cubs still have more than enough talent in the minor leagues to make a trade to improve their team, but probably not enough to acquire a talent like Gray. The Astros? They dealt for Francisco Liriano.
Liriano, who was part of a trade deadline deal a year ago that saw the Pittsburgh Pirates trade him to Toronto, posted a 6-5 record in 2017 with a 5.88 ERA.
Gray landed on the All-Star roster in 2015 and in that same year was third in American League Cy Young Award voting.