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MLB trade rumor grade: Sonny Gray to the Mariners?

Seattle is the latest team to have an eye on Gray.

Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With all the trade rumors flying every which way, and just a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, it’s hard to keep track of everything. Furthermore, it’s a pain to figure out which rumors are legitimate and which are flimsier than an overfilled crepe.

That’s what we’re here to help with, though, sifting through major rumors to see what has merit and what’s more wishful thinking than probable.

The latest comes from Mark Feinsand over at MLB.com, who reports that there may be a new suitor for Oakland right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray in the Seattle Mariners. But could that actually happen?

What the A’s would gain from trading Sonny Gray

The kind of promising return package that they only could have hoped for a season ago, that’s for sure. As previously noted when analyzing Sonny Gray to the Astros, Oakland has been attempting to part with this particular chip for a while now.

While they couldn’t offload him in the offseason due to his down year last season, he’s been stellar this year after a rough start in May. There are more than enough suitors knocking on the Athletics’ door for a chance to take Gray and his skills off their hands.

Since Jose Quintana has already changed hands and fetched a nice group of prospects from the Cubs (including their top prospect Eloy Jimenez) the baseline price tag for this type of pitching talent is now publicly set, which could help the A’s maximize their return for Gray and take home some valuable prospects in the process.

Since Gray is under team control through 2019, the question is whether the Mariners want to let go of those valuable prospects.

What the Mariners would gain from trading for Sonny Gray

As Mark Feinsand reports, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto may be “going for it” over the next few years, despite the fact that their farm system doesn’t have as many gems to barter with as they used to possess.

However, due to Gray’s contract status — he is only making $3.575 million this season and is eligible for arbitration the next two seasons — going through with this trade would net the Mariners an affordable and able pitcher who isn’t just a win-now acquisition.

Gray could solidify Seattle’s rotations for multiple years, making it far easier to swallow sending top prospects to Oakland than if Gray were only a rental.

Rumor grade

This grade gets a B- because while it may be true the Dipoto wants Gray in his rotation for the next two-plus years, well, so does everybody else. I’d like a refurbished, 3-bed/2-bath brownstone in Chelsea but student loans exist and I also need to eat food to survive. We all have hopes, Seattle.

In theory, the Mariners could use Gray and would happily give up prospects to get him. But at this point those prospects might not exist given that their farm system lacks the depth of other teams currently making offers, including the Brewers, Astros, and Cubs.

While the Mariners would have to give up top prospect Kyle Lewis and may be glad to do so, they just moved their No. 2 prospect Tyler O’Neill to get Marco Gonzales from St. Louis and they shipped another four prospects to Miami for David Phelps. Although Lewis is the 34th-ranked prospect on Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list this season, he probably won’t be enough to beat out all the other offers on the table.