The Yankees are in talks with the Athletics about a potential trade for RHP Sonny Gray, reports Jon Heyman of FanRag sports, who says it's the Yankees' primary focus at the moment.
The Athletics have "named their price" for Gray to the Yankees, but a deal is not yet close, according to Heyman.
Heyman notes that the Yankees may also have interest in Rangers RHP Yu Darvish, who is reportedly available.
Gray, 27, has a 3.66 ERA (3.37 FIP) and 1.17 WHIP with 85 strikeouts in 91.0 innings (15 starts) this season for the A's.
He struggled last season, posting a 5.69 ERA (4.67 FIP), but has a 3.45 ERA (3.58 FIP) during his five-year career.
Gray, who is earning $3.575 million this season, is arbitration eligible in 2018 and 2019, after which he is eligible to become a free agent.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said after the team acquired Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle from the White Sox earlier this week that they would remain "careful buyers" leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Acquiring Gray would put an exclamation point on the Yankees making a serious run at a postseason berth, and maybe more importantly, it would also stick with Brian Cashman's stance to be "careful buyers," where careful is another word for control.
After Luis Severino, the Yankees rotation is filled with inconsistent hurlers -- an ongoing problem for much of the season. Adding Gray would prop up the rotation at the front end and should help the Yankees get more games to what has become a dangerously good bullpen.
Adding Gray would also mean as much to the future of the Yankees as it does the remainder of the 2017 season. After this year, the Yankees could lose Masahiro Tanaka (he can opt out of his deal), and CC Sabathia's contract is coming to an end. Michael Pineda, out for the rest of the season due to Tommy John surgery, was also set to be a free agent at the end of the year. Teaming Gray with Severino and Jordan Montgomery would ease the need for filling the 2018 rotation.
The question, of course, is at what cost would the Athletics deem worthy for their ace. In my view, any deal would have to begin with Jorge Mateo, and then include at least two other top-15 prospects in the Yankees system and likely one more player. That's a heavy price to pay, but if the Yankees truly feel Gray is an attractive now-and-later piece, they could pull the trigger.