Every time I hear his name I can’t help but to sing the intro to Sesame Street’s theme song “Sunny day.” Gray is no stranger to trade rumors. During the 2016 season, the Athletics traded Gray to the Yankees. Prior to the 2018 season, the Yankees traded him to the Reds. Now before the 2021 Season, the Reds announced that they are open to trading him.
Before you say, “oh the guy can’t handle NY why should the Mets even be interested” lets try to analyze what happened. In 2018 Sonny Gray had an ERA of 4.90 in 130.1 IP and 123 strike outs. It is also worth noting that his FIP was at 4.17 so he was definitely lost somewhere. After he was traded to the Reds, he voiced that he was not comfortable with the Yankees organization were asking him to throw more sliders, a pitch witch he did not like throwing at the time. “They love sliders. Sliders are a great pitch. The numbers say slider is a good pitch, but you might not realize how many S****y counts you’re getting in while throwing those all those sliders. They wanted me to be Tanaka and I’m way different from him.” Sonny Gray voiced to Eno Sarris from the Athletic.
Sure enough, Gray backed up his comments by having a dominate 2019 season with the Reds where he put up an ERA of of 2.87 in 175.1 IP and striking out 205 batters with a FIP of 3.42. It was really like day and night and clearly he was much more comfortable and it showed. In 2020 he had a 3.70 ERA in 56 IP and struck out 72 batters with a FIP of 3.05! While his ERA was not as impressive as his 2019 numbers, it was a much smaller sample size and shadowed by an impressing CY Young winning Trevor Bauer and a dominate Luis Castillo.
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While hot stove rumors have both Bauer and Odorizzi linked to the Mets, I think that if they went with the latter, then they should consider making a move with the Reds who are looking for a Shortstop. Sonny Gray has 3 years and $30.5 million left on his contract. The third of which is a club option valued at $12 million. This is a club friendly contract for a pitcher of Gray’s upside and would allow the Mets to have money to spend next year on an elite FA SS class.
What would it cost? The obvious answer, is Andres Gimenez. As I mentioned earlier, the Reds voiced that they are looking for a starting SS. However, I think another door can be open that involves trading SS Amed Rosario along with 1B Dominic Smith to back up an aging Joey Votto who is likely to see more time in the DH. I think Smith could be an instant Allstar starting everyday in CIN, as he can take advantage of the smaller dimension of the ball park. Rosario can also benefit after having a rough 2020 Season with the Mets in which Gimenez stoled the spotlight from him. Would you pull the trigger on SS Rosario and 1B Smith for SP Gray and a guy like Ryan Hendrix (#21 Reds Prospect, Age 25, Bullpen piece, RHP with a 2.55 ERA in 172.2 IP 234 K 1.21 WHIP in 5 years in the Minors ETA 2021)?
Also read: Free Agent Target: Liam Hendriks