Sonny Gray just wants to play in a place where he’s ‘wanted’


Sonny Gray’s time in The Bronx figures to be coming to an end soon as the Yankees continue to explore trade possibilities, and the right-hander has come to grips with it.

“Ultimately, you want to play somewhere where you’re wanted,” Gray told The Tennessean on Wednesday night at an awards dinner in Nashville.
“If it just so happens for me to go back to New York, then I’m going to continue to do everything I can to win games, not only for the team, but to better myself as a pitcher and go that route and try to continue to perform at a high level.”

The likelihood of Gray remaining with the Yankees is small, though general manager Brian Cashman cautioned earlier this month that CC Sabathia’s heart scare in December might result in keeping Gray around until spring training in case Sabathia can’t go.

But Sabathia completed a follow-up stress test last week and was cleared to begin baseball activities, meaning Gray is expendable once again.

Despite Cashman’s unusually public intention to trade Gray, who has been a disappointment since arriving from Oakland prior to the trade deadline in 2017, Gray told The Tennessean he hasn’t spoken with anyone in the front office since the season ended in October.

“During the season I had a couple of conversations with Cashman about it,” Gray said of a potential trade. “But since we lost that last playoff game against the Red Sox, I’ve actually had no contact with the Yankees at all… I haven’t been in contact with the Yankees at all this whole offseason.”

Gray, who spoke at the Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association banquet, said he’s aware of his tenuous situation with the Yankees.

“I mean, you see what’s being said about you, definitely,’’ Gray said. “But at the end of the day, I’m just doing my offseason workouts and getting ready for spring training.”

Among the teams that have expressed interest in Gray are the Reds, Padres, Brewers and the A’s. The Giants are the most recent team to be connected to the 29-year-old, who is due to make $7.5 million this season after settling his arbitration case.

In 15 games (11 starts) last season in The Bronx, Gray had a 6.98 ERA as opposed to a 3.17 ERA in 15 appearances (12 starts) away from home.

Even with that disparity, Gray didn’t sound desperate for the relocation that Cashman — and others — believe both sides need.

“I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone; it’s kind of been an up-and-down experience for me,” Gray said. “I’ve loved my time there. I love the guys. It was obviously a difficult season this past year, starting and then going to the bullpen, not pitching as much. But I mean, I won 11 games last year.”