The Cardinals returned from the Thanksgiving holiday continuing the work they began before the holiday.
Early Monday morning Jon Heyman reported that the Cardinals were expected to finalize a deal with free agent starting pitcher Sonny Gray today. That was confirmed by multiple outlets. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic provided the contract details.
Gray, a long-time target of the Cardinals, had a career year in 2023, producing 5.3 fWAR with a 2.79 ERA and a 2.83 FIP. The key to his success last season was a miniscule .39 HR/9, which is about half a homer better than his career averages.
Gray has produced 16.3 fWAR over the last five seasons, including the shortened 2020 year. He’s a solid #2 producer with #1-caliber upside when he can keep his HR rates among the best in the league.
We will add more information to this story as it breaks. Stay tuned.
The pitch to watch from Sonny Gray is his electric sweeper.
The Sonny Gray signing was a strong one, imo. This year, he picked up a sweeper that was #1 by results & #22 by Stuff+ (min 100 IP), always had premium spin, four-seam is still above average if not super fast, and if you just use his projections with aging, StL paid market rate.— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) November 27, 2023
Overall, Gray’s whiff and chase rates, though, are below average and his K rate is just slightly above average. The Cardinals did add some “swing and miss” to their staff with the additions of Gray and Lynn, but they will still rank near the bottom of the league in the corresponding stats as a staff.