2. Sonny Gray to the Mets
The Sonny Gray experiment in the Bronx was a disaster, but it could’ve been a lot more beneficial in Queens. Like we said, the Mets seem to get more things right than not with their pitchers and the Yankees … don’t.
Perhaps Gray couldn’t deal with the pressure in New York with the Yankees, but his success elsewhere speaks for itself. The changes he made upon arriving in Cincinnati clearly made a significant difference, so the “pressure factor” wasn’t the only one.
After 2018, that was it. Gray had a 4.51 ERA in 41 games with the Yanks. Wasn’t going to cut it. Brian Cashman shipped him to Cincinnati, and he’s since pitched like an All-Star (for the most part). But couldn’t the Mets have used a guy like Gray?
The Mets were looking to get back on track after that 77-85 season. They knew Zack Wheeler was probably leaving after 2019. They knew Steven Matz was inconsistent. Why didn’t they think of taking a flyer on Gray, who wasn’t fetching a whole lot on the trade market? Maybe the Yankees were afraid he’d revive himself across the city and make them look bad? Again, we don’t know.
Gray signed an extension shortly after the trade, one the Mets would’ve loved to fit in their budget. Three years, $30 million and a $12 million club option for a fourth. Tremendous value for a mid-rotation arm who could top out as a co-ace.
The Mets are obviously OK with their starting pitching right now (they’re the best in the league), but Gray would’ve come in handy after Noah Syndergaard’s injury and Wheeler’s and Matz’s departures. They’re in the market for starting pitching help ahead of the trade deadline due to injuries and lack of depth.