Sonny Gray rebounded from a nightmarish, injury-plagued 2016 campaign with the Athletics to rehabilitate his trade value and become arguably the top arm on the trade market before he was dealt to the Yankees on July 31. The right-hander didn't really move the needle for the team's playoff hopes by posting a 3.72 ERA and surrendering 11 homers (including eight at Yankee Stadium) over 11 starts, but he at least provided the team with another dependable innings eater behind ace Luis Severino. Along with enjoying better health, the key to Gray's turnaround was making more use of his off-speed offerings, which aided him to an 8.4 K/9 rate, his best mark since his rookie year. With a full season in the Bronx awaiting him, Gray could struggle to curb the home-run problem that has plagued him the last two years, but it seems he has discovered a pitch mix that should allow him to avoid another disaster on the level of 2016.
Gray agreed to a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the Yankees on Friday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. This was the second offseason as an arbitration-eligible player for Gray, who will receive a bump of $2.975 million from last year. During 27 starts between Oakland and New York in 2017, he posted a 3.55 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 162.1 innings. Looking ahead, he should be a reliable option at the pitching position in 2018, but an area of concern lies with his propensity to give up home runs in Yankee Stadium. Nonetheless, expect similar numbers during this upcoming season.
Gray will start Game 4 of the ALCS against the Astros on Tuesday. Gray will be more than well rested for his second start of the postseason, as the 27-year-old last toed the rubber for Game 1 of the ALDS on Oct. 5. He allowed three runs on three hits and four walks while striking out two over 3.1 innings during that outing.
Gray will start Game 1 of the ALDS against the Indians on Thursday, Nick Camino of Newsradio WTAM 1100 reports. The Yankees used their ace, Luis Severino, for Tuesday's wild-card game, so they'll turn to Gray for Thursday's series opener. The 27-year-old posted a 3.72 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 11 starts since being acquired by the Yankees. He'll face Trevor Bauer and a difficult Indians lineup in his first playoff appearance since 2013.
Gray (11-11) allowed six runs on six hits and five walks while striking out just two batters through 4.2 innings to take the loss against Tampa Bay on Thursday. This obviously wasn't Gray's strongest showing, and he's now lost three of his past four starts. However, the 27-year-old righty will still finish the regular season with a solid 3.49 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 8.5 K/9. Those numbers move the fantasy needle in all settings, and Gray will also have an opportunity to further boost his stock during the postseason.
Gray (10-11) allowed one run on four hits and three walks while striking out four across six innings to earn the win Saturday against the Blue Jays. Gray gave up a solo homer in the third inning, but otherwise held the Blue Jays in check while the Yankees scored three times in the fifth inning to help him get his 10th victory of the campaign. He's been outstanding in three of his last four starts, and overall, he's been an excellent fantasy option since joining the Yankees on Aug. 3. He'll make his next start Friday against the Blue Jays.