No Gray area, Sonny is likely done with the Yanks
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.”