The Houston Astros have been one of the busiest teams this offseason and they are now kicking the tires within their own division.
The 27-year-old righty appeared to be on a trajectory for stardom as he compiled a 2.88 ERA through his first three years in the majors from 2013-15, topping 200 innings during the latter two seasons and finishing third in 2015 AL Cy Young voting.
But disaster struck in 2016, when Gray landed on the disabled list twice and ultimately scuffled to 5.69 ERA in just 117 innings. The former Vanderbilt standout and first-round pick surrendered a career-worst 18 home runs, more than he had allowed the previous year in about half the time on the mound.
Despite those struggles, Gray remains attractive in the market because he is under team control for the next three seasons. He recently agreed with Oakland on a one-year deal for 2017 worth $3.575 million.
Trading within the division is nothing new for the Astros and A's. Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow and Oakland president of baseball operations Billy Beane agreed on a deal that sent Jed Lowrie from the Astros to the A's following the 2015 season, and Houston also acquired pitcher Scott Kazmir from Oakland in exchange for prospects earlier that year.
-- Nick Ostiller