No Gray area, Sonny is likely done with the Yanks

New York Daily News - - SPORTS - BY KRISTIE ACKERT

Sonny Gray has likely pitched his last game as a Yan­kee. Brian Cash­man all but con­firmed the strug­gling right han­der is on the trade block this win­ter.

“I think we'll en­ter the win­ter, un­for­tu­nately, open­minded to a re­lo­ca­tion,” the Yan­kees GM said at Fri­day's sea­son wrap-up press con­fer­ence. “To max­i­mize his abil­i­ties, it would more likely be best some­where else. But then it comes down to the fi­nal de­ci­sion of price, in terms of trade ac­qui­si­tion and match­ing up with some­body. If we match up, then I think yeah, it's prob­a­bly best to try this some­where else.”

Gray was de­moted from the start­ing ro­ta­tion in Au­gust. He pitched to a 4.90 ERA in 30 ap­pear­ances, in­clud­ing 23 starts this sea­son. Gray was even worse at Yan­kee Sta­dium, where he pitched to a 6.98 ERA over 59.1 in­nings.

The Yan­kees sent prospects James Ka­prielian, Jorge Ma­teo and Dustin Fowler to the A's last sea­son for Gray.

“I do think if I do find a match some­where for him at some point, then you're go­ing to see what we hoped to see here,” Cash­man said. “But some­times it just doesn't work out that way. I got noth­ing cook­ing, but I plan on do­ing some cook­ing if I can over time, for his sake and for ours.” WHO’S AT FIRST

At this point, Luke Voit will go into spring train­ing as the fron­trun­ner for the Yan­kees' start­ing first base job. The slug­ger had a break­out quar­ter of a sea­son, by­pass­ing Greg Bird as the every­day first base­man in Au­gust.

“He had an op­por­tu­nity and he took it. It's hard to ar­gue with what he was able to do,” Yan­kee man­ager Aaron Boone said. “We'll see how the off­sea­son plays out, but right now, he's grabbed that job.”

Voit hit 14 homers and drove in 33 runs in 39 games with the Yan­kees af­ter be­ing ac­quired from the Car­di­nals in July.

Bird hit .188 with 11 homers and 38 RBI in 82 games. Boone said that af­ter years of in­juries, he hopes Bird will be able to come in healthy, have a full spring train­ing. TIP­PING POINT

Luis Sev­erino was “prob­a­bly” tip­ping his pitches Mon­day night. The Yan­kees ace had been tip­ping his slider ear­lier in the sea­son, ac­cord­ing to scouts. Boone ac­knowl­edged Fri­day that Sev­erino has had that is­sue over the course of the sea­son, which con­trib­uted to his sec­ond-half slide.

“It hap­pens at times, but I think he's done a good job cor­rect­ing it,” Boone said. “It's some­thing we'll ad­dress even more so this win­ter to elim­i­nate any chance of that hap­pen­ing.”

Boone said there was no in­jury is­sue with Sev­erino.

In his first 18 starts, the righty pitched 118.1 in­nings to a 1.98 ERA. He had a .195 bat­ting av­er­age against, al­lowed just six home runs and av­er­aged al­most 10 strike­outs a game. In an 11-start stretch, Sev­erino pitched just 55.1 in­nings, go­ing 4-5 with a 6.83 ERA with a sur­pris­ing .323 bat­ting av­er­age against. He al­lowed 13 homers in that span.

As for the con­tro­versy over whether Sev­erino was late to the bullpen to warm up be­fore Game 3, Cash­man said “case closed.” CC YA GARDY? Vet­eran lefty CC Sa­bathia had surgery to “clean out” his arthritic right knee, Cash­man said. The 38 year old is a free agent af­ter the sea­son and with the Yan­kees need­ing to sign starters, he is still a can­di­date to come back.

Cash­man, how­ever, was guarded about the Yan­kees win­ter plans, not com­ment­ing on Sa­bathia other than to say the prog­no­sis on his surgery was good.

Nor would he com­ment on plans for out­fielder Brett Gard­ner, who has a team op­tion for 2019.

Cash­man de­ferred by point­ing to the or­ga­ni­za­tional meet­ings at the end of the month.

“We have meet­ings to go through, sched­uled for the end of the month, pro scouts and an­a­lyt­ics and front of­fice crew,” Cash­man said. “We'll have the man­ager and front of­fice staff there and pound it out with what is hope­fully a suc­cess­ful strat­egy.”

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