MLB Notebook: St. Louis Cardinals to sign Sonny Gray, their third starting pitcher addition of free agency

Photo credit:© Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
7 months ago
While everyone else waits around to see what happens with Shohei Ohtani, the St. Louis Cardinals have jumped to assemble a starting pitching rotation.
On Monday morning, Jon Heyman reported that the Cardinals were on the verge of signing Sonny Gray and that the deal was expected to be finished at some point during the day. It was later reported that Gray’s deal with the Cardinals was for $75 million over three years, or $25 million per year.
While he’s not of the quality of the top arms on the market, Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, or Blake Snell, Gray had a fantastic season in 2023. The 34-year-old posted a 2.79 ERA and a 2.83 FIP in 184 innings pitched, along with a 24.3 K% and a 7.3 BB%. The veteran right-handed pitcher finished second in American League Cy Young voting, finishing behind Gerrit Cole and ahead of Toronto’s Kevin Gausman.
Gray has always been among the most underrated pitchers in the league since making his debut in 2013. For his career, he has a 3.47 ERA and a 3.57 FIP in 1571 innings pitched. He has pitched for teams such as the Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds, and most recently, the Minnesota Twins.
While we usually wouldn’t get too worked about what happens in the American and National League Central, this signing does impact the Blue Jays in some regard. While Toronto wasn’t expected to be in on Gray, there was speculation that the Blue Jays and the Cardinals could link up for a trade involving Alek Manoah given how many times the two teams have linked up lately.
Before signing Gray, St. Louis also added Kyle Gibson and Lance Lynn to solidify the middle part of their rotation. While neither has the upside of Manoah, it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that the Cardinals will need to trade one of their many outfielders for starting pitching help.
Let’s hope that the ball gets rolling soon on some more free agent signings. The baseball off-season is notoriously slow compared to the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association, as there’s only been a handful of signings in nearly a month. The Winter Meetings are just around the corner, so exciting stuff is bound to happen soon.

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