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The Cubs should trade Tyler Chatwood for Sonny Gray

Wait, hear me out.

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

If you think the title of this post sounds familiar here, you’re right. I wrote up this precise proposal exactly two months ago today, August 12.

Why am I revisiting it just a couple of months later? Here’s why:

Sonny Gray is arbitration-eligible in 2019. MLB Trade Rumors’ arb estimates for next year, which have in the past been accurate, have Gray earning $9.1 million in 2019.

Tyler Chatwood is slated to make $12.5 million in 2019 and $13 million in 2020.

This would be a classic change-of-scenery deal. There seemed to be something about Chatwood — whose stuff is not questioned, just his command and control — that didn’t seem to fit right in Chicago. The same was true for Gray in New York; after posting a 5.56 ERA and 1.524 WHIP in 21 starts, he was demoted to the bullpen. After that, he made seven relief appearances and two starts and was better: 2.36 ERA, 1.388 WHIP, only one home run allowed in 26⅔ innings.

Gray would fit in well in the Cubs rotation and have a fresh start. Chatwood, too, might benefit from the change of scenery, a new coaching staff, and the idea that he doesn’t have to be “the guy” in New York.

In order to make this deal work, let’s say the Cubs kick in enough money for 2019 to have the Yankees pay only what they would have for Gray — $9.1 million. Thus the Cubs would pay $3.4 million to the Yankees and pay Gray’s arb salary themselves, essentially paying for Gray what they would be paying for Chatwood in 2019. For 2020, let’s have the teams split Chatwood’s $13 million. That would keep the luxury tax hit the same for the Cubs in 2019 whether they have Chatwood or Gray, and the Yankees would be getting two years’ worth of Chatwood for about $10 million. If the Cubs get production out of Gray, it would be worth doing this deal even spending $6.5 million of dead money for Chatwood in 2020.

It’s certainly worth a call from Theo to Brian Cashman.

What say you?


The proposal in the article to swap Tyler Chatwood for Sonny Gray and pay the Yankees some of the money in Chatwood’s deal...

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    Great idea! Fresh start for both pitchers
    (991 votes)
  • 13%
    Nope. Wouldn’t work. Forget it
    (161 votes)
1152 votes total Vote Now