Rockies right-hander Jon Gray was an oft-mentioned name at this week’s GM Meetings, tweets Jon Morosi of MLB.com, with the Padres among the clubs interested in acquiring the former No. 3 overall pick.
That Gray would emerge as a potential trade candidate isn’t really a surprise; as explored here at MLBTR a month ago, the Rockies are in a tough spot as a team that is projected to have a franchise-record payroll in 2020 before making a single addition to improve what was a 71-91 club in 2019. Gray and shortstop Trevor Story are the two members of the club that are relatively short-term assets (both controlled through 2021) and have performed well enough to have legitimate trade value. Owner Dick Monfort began the offseason by declaring a lack of payroll flexibility. As such, if the Rockies are to look to ways to improve, they may need to walk a fine line and move some quality big league pieces to simultaneously pare back spending and add more affordable (but less proven) near-MLB talent.
Gray, who last week turned 28, has demonstrated front-of-the-rotation ability at times in his big league career but has yet to establish much in the way of consistency. He’s averaged better than a strikeout per inning in 641 1/3 MLB frames and has delivered sub-4.00 ERAs in two of the past three seasons despite pitching his home games at Coors Field. However, Gray also logged a mediocre 4.61 ERA in 2016 and a woeful 5.12 mark in 2018.
Inconsistency notwithstanding, Gray is a former No. 3 overall pick and vaunted top prospect who averages better than 96 mph on his heater and owns a career 11.4 percent swinging-strike rate. He’s not exactly the prototypical Statcast darling, as he has below-average spin on his fastball and slider, but he’s managed to consistently generate punchouts all the same. And, that low spin rate has helped Gray to post above-average ground-ball tendencies throughout his MLB tenure.
Gray has only made 30 starts in a big league season once, although his durability isn’t questionable in the same way that it would be for a pitcher with a history of arm troubles. Rather, Gray has twice suffered a fracture in his left foot, limiting him to 110 1/3 innings in 2017 and 150 innings this past season. Outside of those two injuries, the only issue that’s ever shelved Gray during his MLB career was an abdominal strain in 2016. He did have some shoulder fatigue late in the 2014 season — his first full year of pro ball — but Gray’s right arm has an otherwise clean bill of health.
There are at least some parallels between the Rockies’ current situation with Gray and the situation the Pirates faced with Gerrit Cole two offseasons ago. Both are flamethrowing former top picks/prospects. Gray has a 112 ERA+ over his past four seasons — the same mark that Cole posted from 2014-17 in Pittsburgh. And, as was the case with Cole, Gray has another two years of club control remaining and a decidedly non-prohibitive (for most clubs) projected arbitration salary at $5.6MM. (Cole had settled at $6.75MM at the time of his trade.)
That’s not to suggest that Gray will erupt with a new club in the same manner that Cole did, but rather to underscore that Gray is the type of pitcher teams will dream on when scouring the trade market. The fact that this winter’s trade market lacks a clearly available frontline starter should only lead to further intrigue surrounding Gray, although there’s no guarantee that the Rockies will ultimately part ways with the hard-throwing right-hander. The Colorado organization, by all accounts, is hopeful of a bouncing back as a collective unit in 2020, so moving Gray for down-the-pipeline prospect who won’t reach the Majors until 2021-22 doesn’t seem likely.
If your first name is John or Jon, and you write about Baseball…nobody believes you.
You your name has a letter a-z in it, we don’t trust you until it’s a done deal.
angels fan 3
Nightengale *makes Sideshow Bob sound when he steps on a rake*
Wonder what a package looks like to get him. He’s got a lot of potential, I’d love him on the Angels
I agree maybe something along the lines of brandon marsh plus luis madero? Then go get cole and angels rotation looks much much better
The Rockies really need to go through a rebuild, but they never will. Payroll is clogged with older players, most of which are on the decline, one of the worst farm systems in the game (maybe the worst). They won’t compete next year despite Rockies fans saying “they were in the playoffs in 2017 and 2018”. It doesn’t matter now. Gray should be on the block, they should listen to offers on Story and revamp their farm. The Dodgers aren’t being dethroned any time soon, the Pads are on the up and up, and the DBacks are on the verge of going off themselves. Rockies cant sit around and hope that last year’s team gets better magically after being bad last year. Not without spending dollars, which they likely wont.
Rockies will never compete as long as they play in that ballpark
dynamite drop in monty
Except for all those times they’ve, you know … competed.
Where should they play then? Death Valley, CA?
Perksey, a moron comment.
That makes no sense.
I’m not smart so I’m sincerely asking this
question: would an
help counter the
thinner air at
the air conditioning
would make the
Why are writing like that? You trying to pretend it’s a poem? Are you trying to draw attention to yourself? You are, but it’s negative attention. Takes up too much space. Please stop it.
Please turn on the air conditioner. I need heavier inside atmosphere.
No, it was an honest question! I don’t know the science.
Padres r knocking on the door
No the higher elevation creates less air pressure. You would have to make a air tight dome, sealed off like an airplane, and increase the air pressure. Just look at basketball teams who travel to high elevation, and are dragging butt because they can’t get enough oxygen even though they’re playing in a arena.
All the useless vets are gone after this year or next. And their farm is very far from the worst. Plenty of good players in it, just not a lot of top 100 guys due to graduation.
their farm is 28th by FanGraphs
“their farm is very far from the worst.”
“their farm is 28th by FanGraphs”
So it is actually NOT far from the worst.
Don’t they still draw something like 3 million
fans a year?
Yep. Throughout the first half of the past decade, the owners focused on stadium improvements instead of team improvements. Personally, I would have rather had a competitive team to root for in 2013 instead of the party deck in right field, but to each their own.
We always have to remember that the primary goal of every major league baseball team is not to win a championship, it is to make money.
“the primary goal of every major league baseball team is not to win a championship, it is to make money.”
Which seems an abuse of the anti-trust exemption. If they were to act in good faith then they should try to win WS. But that would take regulations to enforce, and half the population thinks regualtions are categorically evil. And that’s why we can’t have every team striving to win the WS. Or many other nice things.
In order for you to prove that they violated Anti-Trust laws you would have to prove that they were not trying to win a championship. That would be hard to do with the Rockies considering how much money they spend on their team every year. You would be better off trying to prove that with the Marlins. They spent less than $16 million on their entire team during a year that Alex Rodriguez alone made over $25 million. Even proving it with the Marlins would be impossible. Teams should in good faith try to win a championship with their team but the city isn’t owed championships or even victories. It does suck to root for a team that is owned by people that couldn’t care less about winning but the idea of bringing a suit against any team via antitrust for not winning enough or even not spending enough on the team is purely idiotic. Take your agression out some other way. Root for a different team. The Rockies gave a record breaking massive contract to their third basemen. You can’t say their not spending enough money and you can’t say they are not trying. They may suck at it but people have the right to suck if they want. That’s what freedom is.
Package him with one of those reliever contracts to get a decent return. Phillies won’t give up Bohm, but Rockies don’t need him anyway.
id always be skeptical of trading for a Rox pitcher. ask Chatwood, Jimenez, or others – you dont always improve after leaving Colorado
Ironically, hitters DO tend to improve, at least by park adjusted stats.
Jeff Francis, Aaron Cook, Brian Fuentes, so many more. In fact, it is really to think of any pitcher that greatly improved after leaving Coors. Drew Pomeranz, maybe. Collin McHugh, but he wasn’t there very long. Darryl Kile before he passed away. But the list of pitchers that didn’t get better is far longer than those that did.
that’s why i think baseball and Colorado are incompatable. it seems like pitchers mold their games to Coors, then when they leave their game is not compatable outside of Coors.
It’s a shame because Denver is a great anchor city for that part of the intermountain west.
To SD for Myers/Morejon/Plus/Plus – Cash?
Not enough. Padres take Wade Davis too?
Show Me Your Tatis
There is no “Jon Gray to the Padres” trade that includes Wil Myers. Nice job trying to sneak it in there tho.
Worth a try though…..
I wonder if they’d consider attaching Desmond’s contract to Gray in order to really free up some spending money. Of course it would diminish the return but they could still likely get something better than warm bodies.
And I still will never understand that Desmond signing.
Kinda like the Hosmer deal, although Hosmer at least has a fair amount of value. The problem with the Hosmer deal was the $144MM part. It should have gone for about 60% of that.
The only way it would be like the Hosmer deal would have been if the Padres had signed Hosmer to play shortstop even though he hadn’t ever done it.
Desmond was a bad signing in general, but when you add in the fact that they signed him to that bad deal AND to play a position he had never played before it makes the deal one of the worst ever free agent signings.
With his upside I assume they want MLB ready or near ready prospects. I could see the Padres, Yankees, Astros, White Sox and Cubs as good trade matches based on needs and having the assets to move. He could pay off big dividends pitching away from Coors.
I really don’t want another #2/#3 pitcher on the NYY. They have a bunch of them. The rotation needs a true #1 and that’s it. Anything else is just a waste by Hal/Cash. In the bullpen, they need one more strong arm. That could be Betances…
I think the Braves make a good fit with COL. I wonder if they could grab Gray and Story to play 3B. Maybe take one of the overpaid RP off Rox hands as they are in financial hell.
Just spitballing but maybe Kyle Wright, Tuscar Ynoa, CJ Alexander and taking Jake McGees contract would be enough? I’m sure the Braves have the prospects to get a deal done I just don’t know what it would take and if they would pull the trigger.
If the Braves were to be involved, my guess is Swanson would be sent back as Story’s replacement in your scenario.
I like using story at 3B and keeping dansby for SS better otherwise you still have to address 3B in crazytrains trade you address a SP and 3B both
Yea well I was kinda thinking that Rox have brendon Rodgers feast at SS and still have Hampton/McMahon for 2b.
I get it might take more than that, not sure what Rockies are most interested in SP or position players.
Wright is a top 5 pick that is Mlb ready now. Maybe COL would be interested in Greyson jenista OF, or Riley Delgado SS, or maybe even William contreras.
I wouldn’t want to give up Dansby just cause that adds a hole while filling a hole.
For Gray AND Story? You must be thinking that taking on McGee’s salary will significantly lower the quality/quantity of prospects needed; it won’t. Rox would rather eat the bad contracts than sacrifice that much return talent. Braves are a good match, yeah, but you’d have to give up enough to really make it hurt in order to bring back gray and story.
What do those two have left as far as contracts(Gray&Story
Both Gray/Story aren’t even arb eligible until 2020 (FA 2022), so their price is about to escalate, though still manageable. Story has a career 17.8 WAR already and he hasn’t even seen arbitration — Denver is good to him.
Not true. Story is in year two of three in arbitration per sportrac. He’s projected to earn about 11.5m. Gray is also in his second year of arbitration and projected to make 5.6m.
Everyone likes to speculate multiple mlb players (of value) going to a team but it doesnt happen often. Gray makes the most sense if their most established targets dont come through. I would like to see them get Hamels and Gray. U still wouldnt have an “ace” but maybe someone of the group ends up pitching like one
Enyel De los Santos
I could see some sort of Gray for Haniger trade. Most likely involving other pieces from both sides. Gray needs a new park to play his home games.
If only NH were still around for the Pirates, he’d give up everything he could
Crazy how they Rockies go from arguably best SS in the game to the next best SS in the game. Arguably bc Lindor exists.
I’ve seen it rumored around the Internet before but I just have to say he would be a great fit for the Red Sox. I’m not sure how exactly they’d get it done – prospect wise they don’t have much – and giving up any of the very few legit prospects they have for a player who isn’t exactly a ‘sure thing’ would be a rough call. However having said all that, given his relatively low salary, potential upside, and need for the Red Sox to solidify the back-end of their rotation he would be the ideal fit, if there was a trade scenario that worked for both sides.
I don’t think bos/ col line up because they’re both trying to shed salary. hard to do
Jackie Bradley Jr. straight up.
I am assuming you are ordering a drink named after the Boston outfielder, because there is no way that could be a trade offer.
IS this going to be just like the Indians last year. “They are going to trade there rotation because of salary issues.” Then they trade Encarnacion and all is good. FAKE NEWS?
What do you think of Peralta and Ray for Gray?
both are worth more than Gray.
I think you’re a Rockies fan
nope just a brewer fan that wants a world series
As a Rockies fan, I’d rather keep Gray. The Rockies have been around for 27 seasons now and the next best 1-2 punch in the rotation after Marquez/Gray is one season of Ubaldo and Jorge de la Rosa.
IF Kyle Freeland could bounce back and prove last year was just a sophomore slump, I’d be okay with a Gray trade. Preferably to the AL and for a nice package of prospects led by an non-pitcher. After the mediocre production from the best prospect in the Tulo (Hoffman) and Ubaldo (Pomeranz) trades, I’d rather try a hitter as the #1 guy.
One interesting idea could be Gray to the Twins for a package led by Byron Buxton. His defense in CF could really be helpful to the Rockies. And playing in Coors, he could hit 30 triples a year.
I’ve always felt like Gray could prosper outside of Colorado. I’d be happy to see the Angels get him.
Would make a nice addition to the MIN.
A team that needs pitching, trades it’s best pitcher. If they need to trade, trade Story’, Gray has a better ERA at home than on the road. They need to keep him. They could get a couple good ML pitchers for Story.
Jordan Yammamoto, Nick Neidert, Austin Dean, Robert Duggar and Daniel Castano for Gray, and Sam Hilliard?
Colorado gets arms at or near the big leagues, plus a bat that may fit their ballpark, and the Marlins use multiple arms to add a higher quality arm into their rotation, and someone that could give them ABs in CF. Deal isnt too far off from the deal Pittsburgh made with Houston
I’d rather see Padre prospects go somewhere other than Colorado to become stars thank you.
For a guy who doesn’t get past 150 innings, I could see the Padres going after him. He’s doomed to never hit 200.
He’s just what the Padres ordered, a starter that might get them five innings into a game so that they can dump it off to an overworked bullpen.
The cost, oh, I don’t know, how about 3 or 4 MLBers for this number 6 starter. Maybe Hunter Renfroe, Wil Myers (with the Pads covering 98% of his salary) and Austin Hedges (his batting average will creep up to .209 in the elevation).