Yet again, the Boston Red Sox are linked to Sonny Gray. But are they really interested in the Oakland Athletics pitcher?
Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan reported Monday the Red Sox quietly have sent some of their most respected evaluators to Gray’s last two starts and Boston, per one source familiar with the team’s intentions, is keen for the right-hander. A baseball source with knowledge of the Red Sox’s thinking told CSNNE.com on Monday, however, that Boston simply is doing its due diligence.
The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier is hearing the same, with two major league sources disputing the notion the Red Sox are “keen” for Gray. According to Speier, the Red Sox indeed have been covering the A’s, but only because Oakland is a clear seller and this is the time of year when scouting departments blanket Major League Baseball in anticipation of players who will be available on the trade market.
Even Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said recently the club is unlikely to pursue a front-line starter, a category Gray perhaps falls into given what a team likely would have to relinquish in order to land the 27-year-old.
“Maybe other clubs are looking for that No. 1, No. 2 type starter. That’s not really important for us,” Dombrowski said Friday, per Speier, after the Red Sox acquired pitcher Doug Fister, who made his debut with Boston on Sunday. “I think it’s more important to be in a position where we add depth for us, somebody that can help us win major league games if needed.”
ESPN’s Buster Olney also identified the Red Sox as a potential suitor for Gray in a video published Tuesday on ESPN.com. But given the reports suggesting the Red Sox’s interest is muted, we perhaps shouldn’t put too much stock into the idea that Gray might join Boston’s rotation in the near future. For now, it seems more likely the Red Sox will pursue a third baseman, a reliever or another depth starter.
Gray, an All-Star who finished third in American League Cy Young voting in 2015, is 3-3 with a 4.45 ERA through 11 starts with the A’s this season.
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