The Cincinnati Reds were never the favorites to sign Sonny Gray, but it's safe to assume that president of baseball operations Nick Krall at least kicked around the idea of a reunion with the All-Star starter.
But instead, Gray is set to sign with the Reds' NL Central rival, the St. Louis Cardinals. For all intents an purposes, St. Louis has done what they set out to do this offseason - shore up their starting rotation.
The Reds, on the other hand, have been quiet during the early going this offseason. With Gray now off the board, if the Reds were to invest some money into the free agent market, which high-priced free agent pitchers could be on Cincinnati's radar?
1. Reds could sign Eduardo Rodriguez after missing out on Sonny Gray
Sonny Gray received a lot of love this offseason, but the same cannot be said for Eduardo Rodriguez. The left-hander, who opted out of the final three years of his deal with the Detroit Tigers, put up very good numbers in 2023.
Rodriguez went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA. After personal issues limited Rodriguez to just 17 starts in 2022, the left-hander got back to his consistent roots with 26 starts in 2023.
This past season was the best Rodriguez has looked since 2019 with the Boston Red Sox when the southpaw finish sixth in the chase for the AL Cy Young Award.
Eduardo Rodriguez won't blow you away with his fastball, but the 30-year-old does a nice job of getting soft contact and inducing a decent number of ground balls.
After turnning down the remaining three years and $49-million owed, one can assume that Rodriguez will be looking for more years and more dollars. MLB Trade Rumors predicts Rodriguez will be looking for a deal with an average annual value (AAV) of $20.5 million.
Sonny Gray's deal is reportedly worth an AAV of $25 million. If the Reds could secure a pitcher like Rodriguez for a three-year/$62-million contract, that could greatly bolster Cincinnati's starting rotation heading into 2024.