MLB Rumors: Braves have desperate competition for Sonny Gray

The Atlanta Braves will have some competition for Sonny Gray from an NL Central team.

Oct 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches
Oct 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) pitches / Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
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The Atlanta Braves starting rotation is going to look a bit different entering next season. While they did pick up Charlie Morton's $20 million option for 2024, they traded starting pitchers Michael Soroka and Kyle Wright. Reports indicate that the team is looking to make a push for a top starting pitcher in free agency. One of the top options this offseason will be former Minnesota Twins starter Sonny Gray. But the Braves won't be alone in their pursuit.

According to the New York Post's Jon Heyman, the Braves and St. Louis Cardinals are both linked to Gray. Heyman notes that both teams were in on ace Aaron Nola, who opted to re-sign with the Philadelphia Phillies on a seven-year, $172 million contract.

MLB Rumors: Braves, Cardinals linked to starting pitcher Sonny Gray

The Cardinals being linked to Gray isn't necessarily surprising. In fact, he was linked to the NL Central team months ago. But the Cardinals have a desperate need for starting pitching this offseason after they traded Jordan Montgomery and Jack Flaherty at the trade deadline and with Adam Wainwright's retirement.

So far, the Cardinals have filled two of the three voids in the rotation. The Cardinals signed Lance Lynn to a one-year, $11 million contract, which includes a club option for the 2025 season worth $11 million. The team followed up by signing former Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kyle Gibson to a one-year, $12 million contract with a $12 million club option for the 2025 season. Now, they need one more pitcher, and fans are hoping it will be one of the big fish in the free agency market.

Gray has been consistent during his two years with the Twins. In 2022, Gray recorded a 3.08 ERA, a 1.128 WHIP, an 8-5 win-loss record, 117 strikeouts, and 36 walks in 119.2 innings (24 starts). This past season, Gray posted a 2.79 ERA, a 1.147 WHIP, 183 strikeouts, and 55 walks in 184.0 innings (32 starts). Gray made it to the All-Star Game in 2023, the third time he has done so in his career.

With Nola off the board, the urgency from teams to sign one of the top starting pitchers will be high. With Gray, Montgomery, Blake Snell, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto available, the Braves and Cardinals will look to add one. It just so happens that they both have their eyes on Gray.

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