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Cubs trade target: Jon Gray

Here’s a righthander who will almost certainly be available.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Our friends at SB Nation’s Rockies site Purple Row didn’t care for my article proposing the Cubs trade for German Márquez:

Maybe they’ll like this one better.

Jon Gray was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 draft — right after the Cubs chose Kris Bryant. There was, as I recall, some talk that the Cubs might take Gray in that draft. I’m certainly glad the Cubs went with KB. There was some excellent talent in that first round, including Tim Anderson and Aaron Judge.

As for Gray? He’s done about as well as you might expect for a pitcher for the Rockies. Coors Field has been and likely always will be a difficult pitching environment. Even so, Gray’s home ERA (4.49) is roughly equal to his number away from Coors (4.58).

So why Gray, and why now?

Gray’s a free agent after 2021, so he’d likely be a rental, the Cubs would not be likely to keep him beyond this season. He’s not expensive — his contract for this year calls for just $6 million — so he’d likely fit into Jed Hoyer’s budget.

Gray has also pitched well this season, posting a 3.97 ERA and 1.265 WHIP in 13 starts. His K rate is a bit low (7.9 per nine innings), but he has a decent walk rate (3.6 per nine), and his most recent start against the Brewers in Milwaukee was outstanding — five shutout innings with no walks and 10 strikeouts. That came after he spent some time on the IL with what was described as a “right flexor strain,” but an MRI came back “clean” and given that start in Milwaukee, he appears to be healthy.

I’d think a pitching prospect or two heading back to the Rockies, plus assuming the rest of Gray’s contract, would get a deal done. This obviously wouldn’t be the end of Jed Hoyer’s search for pitching help, but it would at least give the Cubs a starter with significant MLB experience heading into the season’s second half.

What say you?


Jon Gray...

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    ... the Cubs should send a couple of pitching prospects the Rockies’ way for him
    (133 votes)
  • 11%
    ... the Cubs should acquire him, but it will take more than a couple of pitching prospects
    (35 votes)
  • 37%
    ... the Cubs should not acquire him
    (111 votes)
  • 4%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (14 votes)
293 votes total Vote Now