The Reds won't reunite Sonny Gray if receives a qualifying offer
This is where the Minnesota Twins have the greatest leverage in terms of negotiating with Sonny Gray. It's also the biggest reason why the Cincinnati Reds are unlikely to reunite with their former All-Star pitcher.
Gray is eligible for a qualifying offer this offseason and the Twins would be foolish not to extend one to the right-hander. Gray, in turn, would be foolish to accept it. Last year, players who accepted the QO received about $20-million.
But for Gray, he's likely to sign a deal that's worth triple or quadruple that over the life of the contract. Going back to Chris Bassitt's deal from last winter; if we're in agreement that Gray is likely to receive something similar, then by signing the qualifying offer, the 33-year-old would be leaving about $40-million on the table.
Sonny Gray's agent won't let him do that, so look for the Vanderbilt alum to reject the qualifying offer and become a free agent. But, having been offered the QO, any team that signs Gray is now on the hook for draft compensation.
In the Reds case, according to MLB.com, they'd be on the hook to lose their third-highest selection in the following year's MLB Draft. There's no way that the Reds, who are looking to build a sustainable franchise from the inside out, are going to give up a draft pick in order to sign Gray.
So, while the idea has merit and there's certainly every reason to believe that adding a pitcher like Sonyn Gray would help the Cincinnati to compete in 2024, it seems very unlikely that we'll witness a reunion during the offseason.