The Reds are expected to sell hard this offseason, and the Mets should be inquiring about three of their starters.
Luis Castillo is the guy I'd want them to get the most, but that's going to be very tough. Tyler Mahle is also a guy who is available, but is going to be harder to trade for. The guy I believe who makes the most sense is Sonny Gray.
Sonny Gray is a name that I'm sure people will not want the Mets to get. This is because of his tenure with the Yankees. He struggled in the Bronx and because of that, he's been labeled as someone who can't pitch in New York.
I don't believe that is the case at all. After being traded by the Yankees to the Reds, Gray cited his struggles due to the Yankees forcing him to throw a ton of sliders. Since getting to Cincinnati, Gray has relied on a cutter which has been a huge pitch for him.
This season was a down year for Gray as he battled through injuries and only made 26 starts. In those starts, Gray went 7-9 with a 4.19 ERA.
In 2019, the last full season before this one, Gray was an All-Star, going 11-8 with a 2.87 ERA. He finished 7th in the Cy Young voting and had a remarkable year in one of the best hitters parks in the game.
While pitching in a very hitter friendly park, Gray was able to keep the ball in the yard. He's allowed 0.9, 0.6, and 1.3 HR/9 respectively in his three seasons as a Red.
While keeping the ball in the ballpark, Gray has struck out over 10 batters per nine in each of his three seasons as a Red. His walks are an issue that needs to be addressed, but overall Gray has the makings of being an elite starter in this league. he's done it before, I see no reason why he can't do it again if he stays healthy.
Gray is a starter who has pitched to a 2.95 ERA in 4 career postseason starts, and has been a two-time all-star. Gray is set to make $10.2 million-dollars this season and has a $12 million-dollar team option for next season.
The 32 year old is likely to get traded while his value is still high and he has more than one year guaranteed on his deal. I believe the Mets should really inquire and see what they'd have to give up as the prices for free agent starters continue to rise.
If Noah Syndergaard is able to get $21 million-dollars after pitching two innings in two seasons, there's no question that Gray's contract is a steal.
His ceiling might not be as high, but his floor far surpasses Syndergaard's which is why I believe he'd be an upgrade as the best-case scenario for Syndergaard seems unlikely in his first season back from a major injury.