When at his best, Sonny Gray was one of the finest pitchers in all of baseball. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been on top of his game since 2015 when he went 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA, while finishing 3rd in the Cy Young vote. Although he hasn’t been an elite pitcher for three seasons now, he did have a very respectable 2017 where he posted a 3.55 ERA over 162.1 innings.
If the Blue Jays were to acquire Gray, it would be in the hope that he’d regain his above average form from 2017. To think that he’ll ever get back to his 2013-2015 elite level would be wishful thinking, but not completely out of the question for someone only turning 29 in November. All one has to do to see that Gray still has what it takes to excel is look at his 2018 splits. At Yankee Stadium he had a 6.98 ERA in 11 starts…whereas everywhere else his ERA was a stellar 3.17 in 12 starts.
The Yankees, specifically GM Brian Cashman, have made it perfectly clear they want no part of Gray moving forwards. There’s been plenty of talk circulating that the Blue Jays should consider offering shortstop Aledmys Diaz in exchange for Gray. It would be a win-win for both teams. The Blue Jays would be bolstering a very thin starting rotation while at the same time alleviating their log-jam of middle infielders. The Yankees meanwhile would be adding a capable replacement for Didi Gregorius at shortstop until he returns from Tommy John surgery.
Even if Troy Tulowitzki isn’t ready to play come opening day, the Blue Jays still have Lourdes Gurriel Jr. who has already surpassed Diaz on the Blue Jays depth chart. As insurance for Gurriel, Toronto also has Richard Urena who after a late season flourish has thrown his name in the hat to be the Blue Jays utility infielder next season.
The Blue Jays couldn’t have asked for a better situation when it comes to beefing-up their rotation. They are desperate for starting pitchers, and now have a possible outlet to offload one of their talented, yet surplus infielders.