Yankees deal for Sonny Gray: Fantasy Fallout

TORONTO, ON - JULY 25: Sonny Gray
TORONTO, ON - JULY 25: Sonny Gray /

After days of rumors and speculation, Sonny Gray has been traded to the Yankees. What is the fantasy fallout of the deal?

Sonny Gray is finally heading to the Yankees in a four player deal, where Oakland will receive Jorge Mateo, Dustin Fowler, and James Kaprielian.

The Yankees are atop the AL East, yet knew that they had to add a starter in order to make a serious postseason run. Gray fits that bill as he slides right into the Yankees’ rotation and becomes their second best starter behind Luis Severino.

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Gray has a 3.43 ERA/94 K/1.17 WHIP line over 16 starts this season. Over the last month though, one would be hard to find a hotter pitcher in the game as he posted a 1.48 ERA/25 K over his last four starts.

Outside of a career worst 2016, where injuries and ineffectiveness saw him post a 5.69 ERA, Gray has been one of the best pitchers in the AL since the beginning of 2014. The Yankees got their arm for not only this year, but he is also under contract for next year as well.

The Yankees starting rotation now has six candidates including Gray and the recently acquired Jaime Garcia. The odd man out would appear to be Jordan Montgomery, who has struggled as of late.

In terms of his fantasy value, owners will have to take confidence that the move to the Bronx will not hurt Gray’s fantasy value. Digging deeper into his batted ball data, it is encouraging. He holds 20% LD, 57% GB and 23% FB contact rates. The GB rate is right in line with what the Yankees will want and his 0.74 HR/9 rate is solid as well.

While the Oakland A’s may not have landed one of the Yankees’ high profile prospects, the return was still solid.

Armed with tremendous raw talent and speed to die for, Mateo looked the part of a top of the order threat for years to come. But, after some down years, maturity problems and the team even questioning his work ethic, his shine soon faded.

At High-A ball this season, he continued his slow start only batting .240 with 28 SB. Yet, a promotion to AA saw the turnaround that eventually would be the reason behind his exit. After a swing mechanism tweak, he posted a .300/4 HR/26 RBI/11 SB line over only 30 games.

He should have no issue being the A’s center fielder of the future. The speed is unteachable, and if he can continue to improve his refined swing, Oakland will be ecstatic with what they have.

Dustin Fowler is another uber-talented OF that, unfortunately, saw his season ended in gruesome fashion. Fowler crashed into the wall in Chicago this season, an inning before getting his first big league at-bat. His recovery seems to be going smoothly, but Oakland will have to hope that he can regain his full strength because he has the potential to be a starting MLB outfielder.

Kaprelian is another intriguing, yet injured player in the deal. He is currently on his way back from having TJ surgery in April. He has great command and three plus pitches, so like Fowler, if he can regain full form, Oakland will have tremendous rotation piece in the future.

Next: Red Sox get Addison Reed: Fantasy Fallout

The Yankees pulled the trigger on a controllable rotation piece in Sonny Gray, and the Oakland A’s got back three high upside prospects. The whole ‘winners and ‘losers’ of these types of deals are silly labels. Only time will tell.