The Yankees acquired RHP Sonny Gray from the Athletics in exchange for minor league INF Jorge Mateo, OF Dustin Fowler and RHP James Kaprielian, the teams announced Monday afternoon.
While Yankees GM Brian Cashman said outfielder Clint Frazier and infielder Gleyber Torres were among New York's untouchable prospects, Athletics GM Billy Beane instead asked for a package revolving around outfielder Estevan Florial, who played in this year's Futures Game, or Mateo, WFAN's Sweeny Murti reports.
Oakland preferred Florial to Mateo, however the Yankees added Kaprielian, their first-round pick from 2015, to the deal as a concession, according to FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman. The Yankees will also receive $1.5 million in international signing bonus pool money.
Gray, 27, is 6-5 with a 3.43 ERA in 16 starts this season. He is earning $3.575 million this season and is under team control for the next two years. The A's scratched Gray from his scheduled start on Sunday as negotiations between the Yankees and A's intensified, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi. The two teams had been working on a trade since last Tuesday, according to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.
Fowler was ranked the Yankees' No. 4 prospect, Mateo No. 8 and Kaprielian No. 12, according to MLB.com. Fowler, 22, suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in his MLB debut in June. He hit .293 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre before he made his debut.
Mateo, 22, has a .258/.318/.438 batting line with eight home runs, 37 RBIs and 39 stolen bases in 99 games with High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton this season. Kaprielian, 23, went 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA in three starts with High-A Tampa this season before undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Although they traded Fowler, the Yankees kept six of their top seven prospects in the deal. The Yankees acquired LHP Jaime Garcia from the Minnesota Twins on Sunday in exchange for two low-level prospects, and traded for infielder Todd Frazier and relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle earlier this month.
Getting Gray was the ultimate need for a team looking to land a postseason berth in a very winnable division and could eventually be a difference maker in the playoffs. The allure for Gray's services go well beyond the upgrade to the front end of the rotation with Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka, as the new right-hander is controllable through the 2019 season.
This is no small circumstance as the Yankees have only two rotation "guarantees" for the 2018 season in Severino and Jordan Montgomery, as Tanaka can opt out, while CC Sabathia and Jaime Garcia are in the final season of their contracts. When Cashman said the club would be "cautious buyers," it was in the vain of receiving a controllable player without trading their top prospects. The Yankees have managed to do this here.
In losing Mateo, the Yankees likely believed that the speedy IF/OF would be blocked for the foreseeable future. Mateo, once the top prospect in the Yankees' system, has slipped down the ladder of late, as Baseball America left him out of its midseason top 10 and MLB Pipeline dropped him to eighth in the Yankees' system and out of their top 100 (preseason No. 5 and No. 45, respectively).
Fowler, who made an incredibly brief cameo this season, which ended in an unfortunate season-ending knee injury, had shown upside before the injury. However, with the outfield situation as it is in New York -- Aaron Judge, Fraizer, Aaron Hicks being the young players, and Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury being the veterans there was no room for Fowler.
Kaprielian, who could miss a portion of the 2018 season as he recovers and rehabs from Tommy John surgery, has dealt with significant injury issues since he was drafted. At best, Kaprielian is at least a couple of years away from reaching the big leagues and is no sure bet to do so. The Yankees have managed to do this here and were able to keep Florial out of the deal.