The Mets missed out on Bauer, so time to move on and look at other options to get a starting pitcher. In part one, I took a look at Jake Odorizzi. This time I take a look at trade options for another pitcher from the 2020 Reds’ rotation. Can we pull off a trade for RHP Sonny Gray?
Sonny Gray has been great in a Reds Uniform after the Yankees shipped him off to Cincinnati. Gray is pitching under a team friendly contract, so landing him might be pricy in terms of prospect capital. Gray is owed slightly over 10 million per year, for the next two seasons, with a cheap 12 mil club option in 2023.
Over the last two seasons, Gray has been amazing. He has pitched to a 3.07 ERA over 231.1 innings for the Reds. He has a sterling 1.11 WHIP and has struck out 10.8 batters per nine innings pitched. Over this two year span, Gray has accounted for a 153 ERA+.
The 31 year old limited hard hit contact in 2020 with limited barrel %. His whiff and K percentages were also very strong and his spin rates were close to leading the league. His only blemish in 2020 was his walk rate, but besides that, his statcast ratings have been splendid.
Granted, 2020 was a small sample. But 2019 was not. Over 175.1 innings he pitched to a 2.87 ERA with 205 strikeouts. His baseball savant statcast numbers were even better than 2020, showing he is for real for the last two seasons.
Now we see a lot of people saying Gray can’t pitch in NY. However, the Yankees didn’t let him throw his best pitch as much as wanted to, which may have led to him losing the feel for his slider. In the graphic below you see the slider usage with the Yankees at 17 and 14.7 percent in 2017-18 respectively. With the Reds, he used his breaking balls more often and way more effectively. His sinker usage decreased. Interestingly, he decreased the use of his sinker, and it was more effective when he threw it.
His slider run value was 12th best in the majors. Unfortunately his usage of the pitch went down in 2020, which made his run value worse. So Sonny THROW THE DAMN SLIDER..
As mentioned, Gray would cost prospects. And he won’t be cheap to say the least. You have to give up a pretty big prospect or a package with multiple prospects. Below is an example of how a package could look.
Would you give the Reds a call for Sonny Gray, knowing the price will be fairly steep?
Photo by: Dylan Buell/Getty images