After three straight playoff seasons from 2012-14 the Oakland Athletics are back to rebuilding. The process isn't off to a great start after general manager Billy Beane has traded away Josh Donaldson and Addison Russell over the past two seasons. The next big decision is going to come this July, when Beane will have to decide what to do about 26-year-old Sonny Gray.
Entering the year Gray was a popular breakout candidate about to enter his prime. In his third full season last year he went 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA and finished third in the AL Cy Young voting. However, through his first nine starts of 2016 Gray went 3-5 with a 6.19 ERA before going on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.
He has been better since returning and in three of his four starts has allowed two runs or fewer. The biggest improvement has been his control as he has decreased his BB/9 from 4.50 before the injury to 1.46 afterwards. There is a real chance Gray's problems were simply the result of an injury and looking forward Beane is very unlikely to deal him at a discount.
Currently the A's are 29-41, which is good for last place in the AL West and fourth worst in all of baseball. Everyone on the team is going to be made available at the deadline. The last rebuilding effort lasted five years. Whether or not Gray gets traded in the next month and a half will determine how long the current process takes.