The Chicago Cubs will be seeking to add a young controllable starter after buying out the option on pitcher Jason Hammel's contract according to both Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. The World Series champions will lose two pitchers to free agency at the conclusion of the 2017 (John Lackey and Jake Arrieta), and with the core of young players everyday players controllable young arms are needed.
The A's are reported to be listening to offers for Sonny Gray. Gray is coming off down season, where he did two stints on the disabled, but still made 22 starts. His record was a dismal 5-11 with a 5.69 ERA. His whip of 1.50 was uncharacteristic of the way he has pitched in his first three season with the A's. In 2015, he was 14-7 with an ERA of 2.73, he was an American League all-star, and finished third in the Cy Young voting.
The A's are expected to do a rebuild this off season and will be looking for a package of prospects in return. Gray still has three years of team control, which will be attractive to teams seeking his services. Don't look for the A's to offer a discount, they will be seeking multiple teams with deep farm systems to bid one against the other.
The Cubs have an abundance of talent available including outfielder Jorge Soler, outfielder Ian Happ, outfielder Albert Almora, and third baseman Jeimer Candelario. The price will not cheap, but don't be surprised if the A's are serious that Cubs aren't in the middle of talks.