Yankees: Sonny Gray trade rears its ugly head with James Kaprielian dominance

It’d really be great if the bad things could go away … especially bad things from, like, three years ago. New York Yankees fans are already dealing with enough in the present day.

But former top prospect James Kaprielian isn’t going to let that happen. He’s now starring for the Oakland Athletics in their starting rotation and helping them fight for an AL West crown (they’re only three games back of the Houston Astros).

That Sonny Gray trade back in 2017 really won’t go away, will it? Kaprielian, among others, was included in that deal, which featured Gray falling flat on his face in the Bronx.

The Yankees then traded him to the Cincinnati Reds before the 2019 season … and he started pitching like his former Cy Young self again. Awesome.

That trade really hurt at the time because the Bombers desperately needed high-end starting pitching to take that next step.

And it hurts considerably now because … the Yankees need all the pitching help they can get and Kaprielian owns a 2.65 ERA and 1.12 WHIP across 12 starts (62 innings) while striking out 69 batters.

The Sonny Gray trade is hurting the Yankees in 2021. Unbelievable.

We’re by no means conducting any revisionist history here. You probably make that Gray trade with the A’s 10 times out of 10. The Yankees possessed a multitude of redundant assets or ones that were far away from making their MLB debuts. They wanted to go for it in 2017 and 2018. That’s what you do to make it happen.

It would’ve just been nice if Gray worked out OR we could’ve had Kaprielian right now. We’re not asking for a whole lot.

Then again, we guess Kaprielian probably wouldn’t have been this good for the Bombers if he’d remained with the organization. The A’s famously develop pitchers well while the Yankees … don’t. We’re still trying to figure out why, but it seems to be the sad reality if you look back on the years.

Right now, Kaprielian leads all rookies in ERA and has helped the A’s deal with an injury to Mike Fiers as well as a massive backslide by Jesus Luzardo. The right-hander’s been a tremendous story, and Yankees fans are no doubt pulling for him.

It just would’ve been a lot better if it were happening in the Bronx … this season … without the stink of the Gray trade still lingering after it derailed the team’s 2017 postseason run and 2018 campaign, helping pave the way for a coast-to-coast Red Sox World Series.

One day, perhaps when Kaprielian’s career is over, we won’t have to hear about the deal with the A’s ever again.