Sonny Gray Unlikely to Play for Twins Beyond 2023
Sonny Gray is one of two Minnesota Twins to make the 2023 MLB All-Star Game, which will be played tonight at 7PM. Gray has been one of the better pitchers in the league during the first half of the season, posting a 2.89 ERA, 1.274 WHIP, 2.85 FIP and 150 ERA+.
But no matter how he finishes the season or how well he plays in the future, this will most likely be Sonny Gray’s only All-Star appearance as a Twin. He’s an unrestricted free agent after the season and multiple insiders are reporting that he’s not expected to re-sign.
Insiders: Sonny Gray wants $20M/YR and multiple years
The 33-year-old 3-time All-Star is seeking a three-year deal, in the neighborhood of $20 million per season. The Twins are willing to pay him for one or two more years, at that amount, but they do not want to put him on the books through his age-36 season.
The Twins have benefited from Gray’s often dominant pitching but seem unlikely to offer the best deal to keep the right hander in Minneapolis. Twins’ front office boss Derek Falvey could be willing to extend a one- or two-year deal, and significant raise, but three years at big money seems like a Twins deal breaker for an aging arm. But don’t bet against teams less budget conscious than Minnesota offering Gray a contract he can’t turn down (even if it’s for two years at bigger money than the Twins offer).David Shama – SportsHeadliners.com
“[The Twins] do have [the] easiest remaining schedule [in the MLB]. They feel like, ‘hey we can still do something in October with this pitching staff and, when the season ends, we extend Sonny [Gray] a qualifying offer. If he wants to accept it, we’ll happily take him back in 2024 — approximately $20 million on a one year deal.’ The Twins would love to have Sonny Gray back in 2024 at one year, $20 million. I’d imagine he would say no to the qualifying offer, enter unrestricted free agency and sign elsewhere. The question is, can [he] get that Chris Bassett contract that he got from Toronto: three years, $63 million. But that he would get a multi-year deal, leave the Twins and the Twins get a pretty good draft pick [in return], after extending him a qualifying offer.”Darren Wolfson – Mackey & Judd (SKOR North)
Goodbye Sonny Gray…
There is no chance, as is reported above, that Derek Falvey and his front office would ever offer Sonny Gray $20 million per year when it would mean rostering him until he’s nearly 37. Unless Sonny falls off the face of the earth during the back half of 2023, which I pray he does not, the Twins will not be able to afford him in the offseason.
That’s, in-part, why we have seen the front office take proactive steps to secure their rotation without him. That includes signing Pablo Lopez (27-years-old) to a 4-year contract extension a couple of months ago. Their rotation of Lopez, Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober and Chris Paddack should still be very strong.
If you’re hoping that the Minnesota Twins trade Sonny Gray, in order to collect something in return before he leaves at the end of the season, that isn’t happening either. As long as they are in the playoff race, which in the AL Central is almost impossible to fall out of, they’re gonna go for it.
The 2023 payroll is too high ($156 million) for the Pohlads to run away from the additional income that comes via any kind of postseason appearance and/or run.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan