The St. Louis Cardinals are once again in the process of dipping into the free agent market to improve their rotation. The Cardinals and American League Cy Young runner-up Sonny Gray have finalized a three-year agreement worth $75 million on Monday, the team announced. The deal also includes a club option for 2027.
Gray, 34, is coming off two terrific seasons with the Minnesota Twins. He pitched to a 2.90 ERA with excellent underlying numbers in 303 2/3 innings the last two years. In 2023, Gray threw 184 innings with a 2.79 ERA and an MLB-leading 2.83 FIP. That earned Gray his third career All-Star Game selection and the runner-up spot behind Gerrit Cole in the Cy Young voting.
. Here's our write-up:
While other second- and third-tier free agent starters had tumultuous seasons, Gray quietly pieced together another high-quality effort. (He also, no doubt, inspired a panicked phone call from his agent after he suggested he might retire this winter.) Gray doesn't throw hard and he'll turn 34 this offseason, but since 2019 he's posted a better ERA+ than Luis Castillo, Zac Gallen, Zack Wheeler, and many others who are held in higher public regard. Be that as it may be, we suspect that Gray could be in line to receive a deal similar to the three-year, $63-million pact that Chris Bassitt inked last offseason.
. Thanks to the size of his Cardinals contract, the Twins will receive a compensation draft pick after the first round. They would have received a pick before the third round had Gray signed a contract worth less than $50 million.
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