Another starting pitcher who is gaining some traction this offseason is Jon Gray, who recently made headlines by turning down a multi-year contract from the Colorado Rockies. The deal was reportedly worth $35-40 million and the organization decided not to present him with a qualifying offer, standing in the same situation as the Blue Jays did with Steven Matz. While the door hasn’t officially closed on a return to the Rockies, Gray is starting to look like an attractive piece to any rotation but does come with some considerable risk.
For his career, the right-hander sports a 4.59 ERA through 152 appearances with 849 strikeouts and a 1.338 WHIP. The elevated ERA does come with the territory considering the Rockies home base is one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in the country but Gray’s numbers on the road are also a bit worrisome.
One thing to consider is that he has spent the past seven seasons with the Rockies and the club has been struggling both on and off the field for the past few campaigns, especially after trading Nolan Arenado and the whole Trevor Story situation.
Gray is the perfect “change of scenery” candidate that could thrive in a new ballpark and with a new club but the risk will be there that he continues to carry a high-ERA, which if signed to a 3+ year contract, could become a sour situation very fast (and one Jays fans are a little used to with Tanner Roark just recently). Even with the elevated stats last year, Gray still finished with a 1.6 bWAR and just trailed behind Steven Matz. I will admit that I haven’t had the Rockies pitcher high on my priority list for the front office to go out and acquire but he is an option if the club misses out on Gausman and fails to bring back Ray.
Signing Gray may come with risk but also presents some upside, in that the club could get him for less than other free agent options like Kevin Gausman and he could turn things around and provide back end of the rotaiton relief that bodes well alongside Ryu, Berrios, and Manoah in the Blue Jays rotation.