It's not really in the Reds' DNA to sign a player that has rejected a Qualifying Offer. Why? Because signing a player that has a QO attached to his signing requires that team to forfeit a draft pick.
The Reds would lose their third-highest selection in the 2024 MLB Draft if they sign a player who's rejected a Qualifying Offer. While it seems unlikely, the Reds may be tempted if the right player becomes available.
1. The Reds could target Sonny Gray in free agency
This is a popular name among the Reds fanbase because of familiarity. There are some fans throughout Reds Country who never wanted to see Sonny Gray traded back in 2022, but the early returns on Chase Petty look very nice.
However, it stands to reason that a pitcher who's likley to finish among the Top 5 in the AL Cy Young vote would draw the interest of a team like the Reds who are deperate to find a reliable starter this offseason.
After a stellar season for the Minnesota Twins, Sonny Gray will have a lot of suitors this winter. The St. Louis Cardinals have been mentinoed early and often as a possible destination and there's every reason to believe that Gray may look to stay in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Sonny Gray's familiartiy with the Reds organization and his affinity for pitching coach Derek Johnson are two big reasons that Cincinnati could be on the right-hander's shortlist as he and his representation begin fielding offers this offseason.
There isn't much more the Reds need to do in terms of due diligence, as Gray was in the organization for several seasons. Gray's 48-percent ground ball-rate is certainly something that could pique the Reds' interest, but the veteran may not be worth the hefty contract and the draft compensation attached to the Qualifying Offer.