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Cubs trade target: Sonny Gray

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The Reds are apparently having a fire sale, so why not?

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds are apparently trying to dump salaries this offseason. The waiving of Wade Miley, and the Cubs’ claim of him, was probably just the first step in a Cincinnati attempt to get rid of contracts, if not outright tank.

So why not go after another Reds pitcher?

Sonny Gray isn’t the pitcher he used to be, clearly. He’s 32 and missed a month of 2021 with a rib-cage strain, and after he returned from that in July he posted a 4.64 ERA and 1.172 WHIP in 16 starts. He did take the ball every fifth day, though, and threw at least five innings in 11 of those 16 outings, better than many Cubs starters. He also struck out 90 and walked just 30 in 85⅓ innings in that span, which is pretty good.

Gray has one year left on his Reds deal for $10,166,167 and there’s a $12 million option for 2023, but no buyout. There are a few incentives in his deal, but only one he’s likely to reach in 2022:

annual performance bonuses: $100,000 each for 150, 160, 170, 180, 190 innings pitched

That shouldn’t break the Cubs’ bank, and if he somehow manages to have a great year, it’d be worth paying an award bonus.

The Cubs could afford to take on this salary for another veteran starter. What would they have to give the Reds in return?

If the Reds really are just trying to dump contracts no matter what, it shouldn’t take more than one prospect. I’ve looked through various Cubs Top 20 (or 30) lists and honestly, these lists look a lot better than they did a year ago, thanks to the prospect haul the Cubs got at last July’s deadline. I wouldn’t trade any of them for this contract.

So, let’s say the Cubs give the Reds a list of 10 prospects, none in the Cubs’ top 30, and tell the Reds they can have two of them and the Cubs take all of Gray’s contract.

Who says no?

Poll

Sonny Gray...

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    ... the Cubs should trade for him with an offer like the one in the article
    (307 votes)
  • 11%
    ... the Cubs should trade for him, but it would take more than that offer to get him
    (109 votes)
  • 55%
    ... the Cubs should not trade for him
    (545 votes)
  • 2%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (22 votes)
983 votes total Vote Now