There is nothing worse than a trade deadline when your team has nothing to do with it. Everyone's talking, and you're in the room, but nobody's talking to you.
Second worst is when everyone IS talking to you, but it's because they want to know what you're ready to get rid of rather than what you're ready to obtain. In an acquisitive world, selling always sucks.
Still, the Sonny Gray rumors – "He's a Yankee!" "No, what, maybe not." "Uh-oh, why is Atlanta interested?" – have at least allowed A's fans to be interested in the final few hours of this deadline. And even if he passes through the 1 p.m. PT deadline without being moved, he will remain a jewel for folks who like talking about who's talking to whom and about what.
Gray has been declared the hot get of this trading season, although typically the hot name on July 31 ends up being forgotten by September 30 because he has been passed by someone else in a better spot. Plus, the best deals seem to be made earlier and earlier in the process than ever before.
Nevertheless, in the new world where making up your own reality is more fun than having to live through an actual reality, Gray is still the tastiest item on the menu, unless you like lighter meals and are more intrigued with Baltimore closer Zach Britton.
And Gray will only seem more delicious if Billy Beane actually pulls him off the shelf and dangles him in the offseason when the list of potential buyers is always larger. The Yankee rumors have cooled, and Beane has claimed he will have no hesitation keeping Gray until a more opportune time.
Yet there we sit, because the A's are at least in play, as opposed to another team we know and can see from our windows, which has a poorer record, fewer prospects and much lower profile. Maybe if the Giants had signed JaVale McGee to the veteran minimum just to show they're still involved even peripherally, we'd be paying better attention to them.