Player #2 to rule out for the Cleveland Indians
Since arriving in Cincinnati, Sonny Gray has managed to resurrect his career. He started strong in Oakland, but really struggled with the Yankees before finding his stride again with the Reds. That resurgence has put his name back on the lists of players that could be dealt at the deadline.
In 2021, Gray has been able to assemble a 3.42 ERA despite having a 1-4 record. Over 50 innings, he’s struck out 65 batters, but has also thrown an MLB-high eight wild pitches, leading the league in the stat for the second straight year after throwing seven in 2020.
While that might not seem great, it’s better than what the Tribe have at the moment. With Shane Bieber hitting the IL with a reported shoulder strain, Cleveland is down to just Aaron Civale and a bunch of hit-and-miss prospects. Currently, no starting pitcher on the roster has an ERA below 3.15 and only Civale, Bieber and Cal Quantrill are below 4.10 of that group, so Gray would be an improvement, not to mention that most of Quantrill’s stats have been as a reliever.
Despite being a 31-year old veteran, Gray still has plenty of time left on his contract in Cincinnati. He’s owed over $10 million this year in total, another $10.3 million in 2022 and then has a club option for 2023 at $12 million. While that’s reasonable for a starting pitcher, it’s probably too much for the Cleveland Indians considering they traded Carlos Carrasco who was owed $12 million this year.
On top of being a bit too expensive, Gray’s control would also raise the price on a deal for him. With so many factors pointing against Cleveland, it’s time to just cross Gray off the list despite him being a huge upgrade in the rotation.