Toronto Blue Jays News

Top 5 options to fill out the Blue Jays starting Rotation

Henry Wright
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.St Louis Cardinals At Cincinnati Reds Aug 30
Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Luis Castillo (58) delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.St Louis Cardinals At Cincinnati Reds Aug 30 /
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Blue Jays
Sep 24, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) throws a pitch against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

Sonny Gray: Cincinnati Reds

While his 4.19 ERA this past season might not look great at first, don’t let it deceive you. Sonny Gray is a fantastic pitcher, and when he’s at his best, he’s one of the better pitchers in baseball. Aside from two rough seasons in 2016 and 2018, Gray has been a consistently great pitcher since entering the majors in 2013, finishing 3rd in AL Cy Young voting in 2015 and 7th in the NL in 2019.

As for this past season, as I said, don’t let his ERA fool you. He played in a very hitter-friendly park in Cincinnati, and his underlying numbers reflect how good he actually was. He had a 114 ERA+, which means he was 14% better than the average pitcher in this metric. His statcast metrics were also phenomenal, as he excelled at limiting hard contact. His actual ERA was likely just a case of bad luck, and I would expect a big bounce-back season in 2022.

As for what the Blue Jays would need to give up, one of their top prospects would likely need to be sent over considering how good Gray can be, and that he has two years of club control left. I’d imagine someone like Jordan Groshans would be the main piece in the deal or maybe even a higher rated prospect like Orelvis Martinez, plus some other pitching prospects like CJ Van Eyk. This may seem like a high price to pay, but Gray has the potential to put the Jays rotation over the edge and make it one of the deadliest units in baseball.

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