Sonny Gray is set to be a free agent at the end of the 2023 season. At the age of 33, he has returned to his old ways of pitching like a true No. 1 starter. The Twins have also clinched the AL Central, meaning Gray will have a chance to pitch in the postseason for the first time since 2020.
With so many high-priced pitchers available on the free agent market this coming offseason, Gray will likely be one that teams show a lot of interest in. In 31 starts, Gray is 8-8 with an ERA of 2.80 over 180 innings of work. He also has struck out 179 batters and posted a WHIP of 1.15.
The question is whether or not the Twins will be able to keep him. If not, a team like the St. Louis Cardinals could be a fit.
MLB Rumors: Could the St. Louis Cardinals sign Sonny Gray?
Gray has not yet been linked to St. Louis, but he may be somebody they may want to keep tabs on. Reports from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch indicated that the Cardinals are expected to be in the mix for Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola, who would immediately fit the ace profile St. Louis needs.
However, Nola is having a bad season, as he owns a 4.57 ERA on the year. Gray on the other hand has the third-best ERA in all of baseball, and would more than likely cost significantly less than Nola. One concern about Gray would be his age. He is set to be 34 years old next season, so the Cardinals would have to be cognizant of that before signing him.
The Cardinals also are usually hesitant to hand out large contracts to pitchers. But they could potentially have Gray for less money than if they were to sign Nola, and with Gray having a Cy Young-caliber season, he would instantly become the ace of the Cardinals staff.
With Adam Wainwright retiring, they'll have three spots to fill in the rotation, two of which opened up when Jordan Montgomery and Jack Flaherty were traded away at the deadline. Gray is also a native of Smyrna, Tennessee, which is not too far from St. Louis.
Gray won't come cheap, but he'll be significantly cheaper than somebody like Nola or even Blake Snell. He's also strikeout machine who doesn't allow many walks, which makes him an ideal candidate to fill a spot in the rotation for St. Louis.