Billy Beane and the A’s have traded away enough big-name players over the years to make no one seem untouchable, but the Oakland final boss revealed that he’s turned down “some pretty aggressive suitors” for ace right-hander Sonny Gray this offseason.
Here’s more of what Beane told MLB Network Radio, via Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com:
We were adamant that we wanted to hold on to Sonny. I don’t think any GM can ever say, “This is never gonna happen.” That being said, we have resisted some pretty aggressive suitors this winter and anticipate that being the case going forward. The guy’s a No. 1 starter, a two-plus [year player in terms of service time], an anchor for any staff, and particularly ours.
The service time aspect mentioned by Beane is particularly key, because in addition to being just 26 years old Gray is under team control through 2019. Once he starts to get expensive and free agency is around the corner then trading Gray for young, low-cost talent might fit what the A’s typically try to do with their roster, but that time is at least a year or two away.
Right now he is young, low-cost talent.