The Toronto Blue Jays were among several teams to scout the latest start of Oakland Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Slusser reports that the Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves and Boston Red Sox also sent executives and scouts to watch Gray, who is emerging as one of the top arms said to be available ahead of the July trade deadline.
Gray enjoyed a strong road start against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, allowing one earned run on four hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out seven. He’s 3-3 with a 4.45 ERA and 3.60 FIP in 11 starts this season, after missing all of April with a lat injury.
The 27-year-old, who owns a 3.52 ERA over his five-year career and has twice exceeded the 200-inning mark, is particularly appealing because of his attractive contract. He’s making just $3.5 million in 2017 and will be arbitration-eligible and under team control during the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Current Blue Jays starting pitchers Marco Estrada and Francisco Liriano are both set to become free agents at the end of this season.
Slusser also notes that some teams in attendance were looking at Oakland infielder Jed Lowrie, who she writes “is all but assured to be dealt before the July 31 deadline.”
Lowrie, a 10-year MLB veteran, has been linked to the Blue Jays as a possible fit at second base.