Former Twins Sonny Gray, Kenta Maeda Sign Elsewhere

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins
Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins hung their hat on starting pitching talent and depth in 2023 and it led to their first playoff series win in two decades. So naturally, they let their 2023 runner up Cy Young finalist and best depth pitcher go in free agency over the last 12 hours or so.

Sonny Gray and Kenta Maeda sign elsewhere

On Sunday night, Kenta Maeda signed a 2-year, $24 million ($12M/YR) with AL Central rivals, the Detroit Tigers. They made an effort to bring Maeda back, but ultimately failed. Then on Monday morning, Sonny Gray jumped leagues but stayed in the Central, signing a 3-year, $75 million ($25M/YR) deal with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Twins will get a 1st round comp pick (around #33 overall) for losing Gray, after making him a ‘qualifying offer’ that he turned down, in favor of free agency. That’s a pretty good consolation prize for an organization openly cutting player payroll in 2024.

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Losing really good players from good teams has been a thing in high-level professional sports for decades. Still, it’s frustrating when it happens to your team, especially when it’s one of your best players at a position you’ve struggled to successfully field in years past.

We do not know who will fill the void for Kenta or Sonny. But one thing is almost guaranteed, their replacements won’t live up to the bar they set. The Twins won’t be able to replace Gray’s talent and consistency at the front of the rotation, nor will they be able to replace the flexibility and postseason acumen of Maeda in the back of it.

Sonny Gray Statistics w/Twins

YearAgeTmWLERAGSIPHRSOERA+FIPWHIPH9HR9BB9SO9Awards
202232MIN853.0824119.2111171263.401.1287.40.82.78.8
202333MIN882.7932184.081831542.831.1477.60.42.79.0AS,CYA-2,MVP-18
MLB Career 11 Yrs98853.472701571.014615211213.571.2047.70.83.18.7
w/Twins2 Yrs16132.9056303.2193001423.051.1397.60.62.78.9
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/27/2023.

Kenta Maeda Statistics w/Twins

YearAgeTmWLERAGGSIPHRSOERA+FIPWHIPH9HR9BB9SO9Awards
202032MIN612.70111166.29801603.000.7505.41.21.410.8CYA-2
202133MIN654.662121106.116113914.101.2989.01.42.79.6
2022DNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNPDNP
202335MIN684.232120104.1171171024.021.1698.11.52.410.1
MLB Career7 Yrs65493.92190155866.11199511053.741.1407.71.22.69.9
w/Twins3 Yrs18144.025352277.1423101063.811.1187.81.42.310.1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/27/2023.