In what turned into one of the most disappointing trades in Yankees history, the club acquired Sonny Gray from the Oakland A’s in July 2017.
The Sonny Gray trade. When it happened, I know I’m not alone when I say that I was very happy. Gray had been the ace for the A’s and was the deadline deal the Yankees needed. He should have also been a staple in a great rotation. However, it didn’t go as planned and Gray was shipped off to the Reds at the end of the 2018 season. Cashman traded three prospects for Gray. Most of the time in a failed trade, the GM is put on the hot seat, but Cashman in a way fleeced the A’s for the guys he shipped over. Let us take a look back at how Cashman lost the Sonny Gray trade but still fleeced the A’s. By looking at how the three prospects have done.
The first man in the trade was Dustin Fowler, an outfield prospect for the Yankees who had a very interesting MLB debut. In his debut, he was running down a flyball in right field and smashed his legs into this metal box down the line. That caused an open rupture of his patella tendon in his right knee that needed surgery. He was due up next inning. Fowler though did recover and played a decent amount of time with the A’s in 2018. In 69 games with them, he slashed .224/.256/.354 with six home runs and 23 RBI’S. As a result of that poor performance, Fowler spent all of 2019 in the minors.
Kaprielian was considered the big name in this trade. At the time he was considered one of the top pitching prospects for the Yankees. Like Fowler, there’s a catch. Kaprielian hadn’t pitched since 2016 at the time of the trade as he was recovering from Tommy John. Kaprielian has had a very hard time coming back from that as up until May of 2019, he had not pitched since that first elbow injury in 2016. He has not made the majors yet as a result of this long injury.
Mateo may be the only one of the prospects right now, that is showing any signs of promise. He was supposed to be a staple in the middle infield for the Yankees, but he could just never hit for them in the minors. He is very fast and the only thing missing from his game was his bat, and up until 2019 he still didn’t have that for the A’s. In 2019, he finally had a good year in Triple-A. In 119 games he slashed .289/.330/.504 with 19 home runs and 78 RBI’S. He was fighting for the wide-open A’s second base job but with the Virus that was stopped short, so who knows what would have happened or what will happen.
Overall, this is another case of Brian Cashman somehow finding a way to win a trade that he lost.