Cokin’s Corner, Saturday 5/27/17
My Friday blog focused on Sonny Gray, the talented A’s righty who now appears to be the hottest trade piece on the market. That’s contingent upon Oakland making him available, which they actually shouldn’t unless he is abe to bring a king’s ransom in return.
Gray is actually a great keeper for the Athletics. His contract is about as team friendly as it gets as he’s still a ways from free agency. But given the history of the A’s, it’s also hard to envision them passing up a decent offer if it comes, and it most certainly will this summer, if not before.
I’m obviously dealing in hypotheticals here, but if Gray is indeed available, which teams are the most likely suitors? The presumed frontrunner would be the Astros, as they have a still loaded farm system laden with solid prospects. But one also has to wonder if the Astros would be willing to ante up something substantial, as the fact is they don’t have an overwhelming need for another starting pitcher.
Houston has a solid trio of starters right now. Dallas Keuchel is back to his brilliant 2015 form. Lance McCullers is throwing like an ace. Charlie Morton has been a revelation thanks to his velocity spike. Beyond those three, Joe Musgrove is shaping up as a quality fourth starter, leaving only the #5 currently manned by Mike Fiers as a question mark.
Gray would fit nicely into what would be a truly nasty rotation if he were to become an Astro. But only four starters are needed come playoff time, and I think there’s an argument to be made that Houston is already blessed with a more than decent quartet. So while Gray would certainly be a nice addition, I’m not sure he’d be worth parting with a top Houston prospect.
What that means is that while the Astros have the deepest pool of prospect talent, I might speculate that another team with more pressing rotation needs might be willing to outbid the Astros for Gray.
How about the Washington Nationals? Let’s call it straight, this team has to be in go for it all mode right now. The window is as wide open as it will ever get for the Nats this season. They’ve got a lockdown duo at the top with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. Tanner Roark is a good enough #3, but while Gio Gonzalez is okay as the #4 in the the regular season, I’m not sure I want him as a post-season starter.
Gray would be a truly great fit in Washington as what would amount to the #3 starter. And the Nats still have plenty of high end prospects to offer the A’s in return for Gray. I don’t think there’s much chance Washington would part with Victor Robles, but former UNLV star Erick Fedde as the lead in a prospect package might be tempting for the A’s.
Just my two cents to be sure, but if you’re looking for a dark horse in the potential Sonny Gray sweepstakes, don’t sleep on the Nationals.
Another decent night on the diamond. I missed with the Cardinals, but got home with the Dodgers and the Over in the Rangers-Blue Jays clash. The good results continue with the bottom line for the month looking pretty healthy right now, and I’ll look to stay the course today.
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My free play today will be on a prop bet for the upcoming NBA Championship Series.
CAVALIERS vs. WARRIORS
Take: WARRIORS in five games +250
I already outlined reasons I believe Golden State will win this series. But rather than spotting a series price that to me is now unplayable, I will go for a price and try to pick the exact number of games.
I can’t see the Warriors getting a sweep in this series, but I do believe this is a good matchup for GS and I believe they have a very good chance to close the Cavs out in less than the maximum seven games.
The one big key for me is Kevin Love’s defense, which isn’t very good and could be seriously exposed in this series. LeBron James and Kyrie Irving are going to do their share of damage to be sure, but I see the Warriors as the better squad here and I really don’t think they’re going to need all seven games to prove it.
So I’m going to take a shot and play the Warriors to win this in five games. I like them to get the first two at Oracle, split at Cleveland, and wrap it up back home in Game Five. I’m not going full bore on this, just a half unit, but Warriors in five is the recommended play.