James Kaprielian starts climbing after Yankees’ failed Sonny Gray trade

Perhaps the Sonny Gray trade wasn’t a total wash after all. At least for one side.

James Kaprielian, at the time considered the best prospect the Yankees gave up in exchange for Gray, pitched in his first game action since 2016 on Sunday. Though the outing was shortened by rain, the right-hander went two innings and struck out one, a home run being the only hit he gave up, for High-A Stockton. And yes, there was a tweet.

“I’M BACK,” Kaprielian announced, punctuating with an emoji and “#BeTheStory.”

Kaprielian has dealt with Tommy John surgery and subsequent shoulder issues since the Yankees took him in the first round of the 2015 draft. Before this season, he suffered a setback with his shoulder.

After Gray’s spectacular flame-out with the Yankees, it wouldn’t take much to declare Oakland winners of the 2017 deadline deal. Dustin Fowler saw 69 games of big-league action last season, and shortstop prospect Jorge Mateo currently has a .927 OPS in Triple-A Las Vegas. A return for Kaprielian only underscores what is starting to look like a respectable return for Oakland.

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