Reds right-hander Sonny Gray underwent an arthroscopic procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow today, the team announced. The procedure isn’t expected to impact his offseason training regimen, nor should it have any sort of impact on his availability for the beginning of Spring Training.
Cincinnati’s decision to buy low on Gray, who’ll turn 30 this winter, proved to be one of the best moves made by any team this winter. The Reds bet big on Gray not only by trading Shed Long and a Competitive Balance Round A draft pick to obtain the former Oakland ace but also by inking him to a three-year, $30.5MM extension that covers the 2020-22 seasons.
Gray put a forgettable 2018 season with the Yankees squarely in the rear-view mirror by not simply returning to his 2017 form but arguably by delivering the best season of his career. Through 175 1/3 innings, the 2011 first-rounder logged a 2.87 ERA (3.43 FIP, 3.65 xFIP) with a career-high 10.5 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Gray’s average of 3.5 walks per nine frames was up from the 2015 season in which he finished third in American League Cy Young voting, but he also managed to allow just 0.87 homers per nine innings pitched. That’s a strong number in any season but is particularly impressive when pitching in the cozy confines of Great American Ball Park during 2019’s record-setting home run boom.
With Gray and midseason acquisition Trevor Bauer now in the plans for 2020, joining holdovers Luis Castillo and Anthony DeSclafani, the Reds look to have the foundation for an extremely strong starting staff in place. There’ll be work to do elsewhere on the roster this winter, but the Reds’ pitching next season could be more formidable than at any point in recent memory.