One more pitcher has come off the free agent market. The St. Louis Cardinals and starting pitcher Sonny Gray have reportedly agreed to a three-year, $75 million contract, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Gray, 34, is fresh off two impressive years with the Minnesota Twins. His 2023 season was particularly excellent: he had a 2.79 ERA over 32 starts and 181 innings, and finished second for the American League Cy Young Award. For the fourth time in his career, he started over 30 games and surpassed 175 innings pitched. He missed no time for injury, a characteristic of his best seasons.
The Atlanta Braves were reportedly interested in signing Gray after missing out on Aaron Nola (who returned to the Phillies on a seven-year deal a few weeks ago). But the Cardinals were arguably in greater need of Gray's services than the Braves. After signing Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson, pitchers who are solid mid-rotation pieces, the Cardinals needed a frontline starter to fill the glaring gap at the top of their rotation.
Gray is that guy. He's older than both Nola and Blake Snell (the remaining top starter on the market) and has a spottier history with injury and consistency, which means he was someone the Cardinals could afford.
It won't be the youngest rotation in baseball. Gray is 34. Lynn and Gibson are both 36. Steven Matz and Miles Mikolas, their back-end starters, are 32 and 35. And as Gray's three-year contract indicates, this isn't a rotation that was built to stay together long term. Matz and Mikolas are signed through 2025, while Lynn and Gibson both signed one-year deals with club options for a second year.
This story will be updated.