The Colorado Rockies are reportedly taking offers on pitcher Jon Gray. Should the San Diego Padres be interested in the right-hander?
With the 2019 Winter Meetings coming up in San Diego, the Padres will be looking to bring in a veteran frontline starting pitcher to complete their rotation.
Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet headline the rotation currently (Mackenzie Gore is coming up soon). What this rotation lacks currently is a proven top-of-the-rotation pitcher who can help the Padres make the leap to an NL Wild Card contender.
Some names that have been popping up in rumors for San Diego have been Madison Bumgarner, Gerrit Cole, and the 2019 World Series MVP and native San Diegan Stephen Strasburg. All these pitchers are proven aces and won’t come cheap, as they are all expecting huge deals this offseason. Zack Wheeler could also be an option, as he rejected the qualifying offer from the Mets and will test free agency. If the Padres don’t sign one of these star pitchers, they could always turn to the trade market to acquire a potential ace-like starting pitcher.
The Padres have been looking on the trade market for a starting pitcher for a while now. Last winter, the team inquired about Mets’ ace Noah Syndergaard. If that particular deal never comes to fruition, one pitcher that could be available via trade is Rockies’ pitcher Jon Gray.
#Rockies RHP Jon Gray is among a select group of controllable @MLB starters who could be moved via trade this offseason, and his name is a popular one this week at GM Meetings. The #Padres have interest, although in-division deals often are difficult to complete. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 14, 2019
Rumors surfaced this week that San Diego could be interested in the Rockies flamethrowing, right-handed pitcher. Gray, a former #3 overall pick, just turned 28 and could be on the market. He has shown flashes that he can be a frontline starter but has also shown too much inconsistency during his four full seasons in Colorado.
Gray had an ERA below 4.00 in two of those seasons but also had an ugly 2018 season with a 5.12 ERA, where he led the league in earned runs. He owns substantial strikeout numbers in his career with a little over a strikeout per inning, but he must limit his free passes if he wants to be a No. 1 or No. 2 option on another team. His numbers have taken a hit due to pitching at Coors Field for roughly half of his starts, so a change of scenery could be beneficial for him. Pitching at a more pitcher-friendly ballpark like Petco Park could be an upgrade for Gray should the Padres pull the trigger on a trade.
Colorado could decide to hang onto Jon Gray, as they could be looking to bounce back after a poor 2019 season where they went 71-91 – only one year removed from the 91-71 team that reached the NLDS. If the Rockies decide to trade Gray, it is unclear what the asking price would be. In a possible trade with San Diego, Colorado may be looking to receive a few top prospects. Gray has two more years of club control and a projected arbitration salary set at $5.6 million.
The Padres may be setting their focus on the star free agents like Madison Bumgarner, Gerrit Cole, and Stephen Strasburg, but if none of those deals end up in their favor, Jon Gray could be an excellent fit in the San Diego rotation. With Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, and soon-to-be MacKenzie Gore, this could be a solid starting rotation for the Padres in 2020 with hopes of starting to contend in the National League.