Sonny Gray’s name is still popping up in Reds rumors.
Despite the Cincinnati Reds trading Raisel Iglesias to the Los Angeles Angels today, several teams are reported still interested in acquiring Sonny Gray. The question is, given these latest Reds rumors, is Cincinnati still looking to shed salary.
According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, several teams are showing interest in acquiring Gray and the Cincinnati Reds are gauging interest. In short, the Reds are doing their due diligence and if some team blows them away, fans might as well say goodbye to the two-time All-Star.
Gray is coming off a solid, yet unspectacular campaign in 2020. The right-hander went 5-3 with a 3.70 ERA in 11 starts. Gray missed some time at the end of the season and did not pitch in the team’s playoff series against the Atlanta Braves.
Gray is owed $20.2M over the next two years and has a $12M team option for the 2023 season. That’s a very affordable contract, and with so many teams looking for starting pitching, the lack of an impact starter outside of Trevor Bauer on the open market has teams taking a look at Gray and Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell.
With Cincinnati dealing Raisel Iglesias and his $9.125M salary to Los Angeles, I thought perhaps the Reds front office would be satisfied with their payroll heading into next season. However, if these latest Reds rumors are true, it stands to reason that Nick Krall is still looking to cut costs heading into the 2021 season.
Cincinnati will already be looking for a new closer with Amir Garrett and Lucas Sims likely getting the nod. If Gray were to be traded, the Reds would be losing 60% of their starting rotation as Bauer and Anthony DeSclafani became free agents earlier this offseason.
With the Reds reportedly exploring the shortstop market as well, perhaps shedding Gray’s $10M salary in 2021 would help the team go after Didi Gregorius, Marcus Semien, or Andrelton Simmons. It sounds as though Cincinnati is not comfortable heading into next season with José García as the team’s starting shortstop.
The Reds do have some young arms that could possibly replace Sonny Gray in the starting rotation. Michael Lorenzen will likely be given a long look this spring, as will Tejay Antone. Perhaps the front office is ready to let Nick Lodolo make his major league debut. The 2019 first-round pick was thought to be ready for the major leagues rather quickly.