“The Reds are also inquiring about starters even as they are working hard to trade Sonny Gray, who has two years at $20 million left on his contract.”
Those are the words from New York Post and MLB Network’s Joel Sherman from a column on Friday night. For the Cincinnati Reds to be looking to trade Sonny Gray, much less be “working hard to trade him” is not a good sign in any way. It’s one thing to listen to offers if teams call and say they are interested. It’s an entirely different thing if you are the team making the calls to try and move what is probably one of the best bargains in all of Major League Baseball among players who have actually spent 6+ years in the game and are qualified to actually be paid their market value.
Cincinnati is in the market for a shortstop. Sherman notes that perhaps a player like Amed Rosario could be of interest for the Reds to move for Gray. Rosario is a 25-year-old shortstop who has been in the Major Leagues in parts of four seasons. He’s posted an on-base percentage over .295 in one of those seasons. If Sonny Gray is only worth an Amed Rosario what are we even doing? On no planet should Rosario be worth anything remotely close to Gray.
Why are the Reds even trying to trade Sonny Gray? Are they slashing the budget so much that somehow they believe it makes sense to try and move one of their best players on an incredibly team friendly deal to save money? It’s certainly possible that Sherman is simply incorrect in what he’s hearing. That wouldn’t be the first or last time – and no, that’s not a swipe at Sherman, people in the game of baseball hear a lot of things that never come to fruition and sometimes things that aren’t quite true even if they believe they are thanks to quality sources.
As we discussed the other day, it’s tough to make a deal that seems to make sense to move Sonny Gray. His contract is simply too good for the production he provides, and unless a team is willing to move a superstar who has three years on their deal in return for him, things don’t make a lot of sense. There aren’t many guys out there that match that description, and there are even fewer of them who fall into a category that the Reds “can afford” or that another team would actually be willing to trade.
If the Reds, for some reason related to money have to trade Sonny Gray, well then they need to do better than Amed Rosario. Gray should return an above-average player at the very least, not a fringe-starter. It’s far more preferable to simply keep Gray in the Reds rotation and find another way to acquire a shortstop for 2021 – and perhaps beyond. But if the team can’t make that work, budget wise, and must move Gray, they need to shoot higher up the chart than a guy who struggles to get on base.