The Red Sox have been linked to this guy for a while, at least since June of last season. Sonny Gray is one of the best pitchers in the game right now, at least in the AL, and he is only 26. So why would the Oakland Athletics pull the trigger to send a potential Cy Young award winner to the Boston Red Sox? Well, because they should. We have the assets and the cash to eat up the salary of guys that can really entice Billy Beane.
The guy that I think will be a great piece in a potential Gray-to-Boston trade is Blake Swihart. I don't know what the general consensus is on Swihart throughout the fan base, but the guy is struggling. Many analysts and even hosts on WEEI are defending Swihart for his poor play. But I personally cannot stand the kid. He's a solid hitter, but has zero plate discipline/vision and cannot come up with a big hit to safe his life. He's a below-average catcher and can't catch the ball. But the A's would certainly take the offensive-minded catcher over their current catcher, Josh Phegley. Phegley is probably a better defensive solution in Oakland, but offense will definitely attract fans to the Coliseum over a guy who can block the ball. It won't win many games, but Swihart can get better over time at fielding his position on a rebuilder instead of in the Boston market. The potential is there, and Beane digs potential.
Another guy that can go over in that deal is Pablo Sandoval. Like I said before, offense attracts fans. And Panda can bring many things to the table in terms of marketing. He also doesn't perform in huge markets, and Oakland is certainly not a big market. We could eat the gigantic salary of Sandoval's current contract as a "we messed up" approach and Oakland doesn't have to take on a salary that they cannot afford.
Lastly, Henry Owens can go over in that deal. In order to get a young starter, odds are you have to give one up too. And Owens is the best one we have in the system. He's got tremendous potential and had a very impressive/promising debut in Pawtucket the other day. He was inconsistent in Boston last season as he tried to adjust to the bigs, but flourished in many starts. Oakland definitely would see Owens as a must-have in the deal.
There would definitely be other prospects going over to Oakland in that deal, but the trade could work and cost less prospects if these 3 are the highlighters in the deal.