Yankees right-hander Sonny Gray has been one of the most talked-about pitchers on the chopping block this offseason, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a trade is imminent. As general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Friday, several factors might delay Gray’s next move, including lingering concerns about CC Sabathia‘s health and the need to get a “proper return” for the starter.
Last month, Sabathia underwent an angioplasty to clear a blocked artery in his heart. The procedure and subsequent recovery time was not expected to interfere with the 38-year-old’s plans to report to spring training, but the club isn’t taking any chances until they get the all-clear after his follow-up later this month.
Even in a worst-case scenario — one in which Sabathia’s health (and career) is more seriously compromised — the Yankees may not intend to hold onto Gray forever. As Cashman put it (via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch): “Our intention is to move Sonny Gray and relocate him, when we get the proper return, in our estimation. It’ll happen this winter, it’ll happen in the spring or it’ll happen sometime during the season.”
The team finished 2018 with the fifth-best rotation in the majors and figures to enter the 2019 season with a mix of Sabathia, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino, and newcomer James Paxton. They have yet to name a frontrunner in the Sonny Gray sweepstakes, but have received interest from a slew of major-league competitors, including the Brewers, Padres, Braves, Mariners, Twins, Athletics, Rangers, and Reds, among others.