With less than one month to go before the Los Angeles Angels play their first Spring Training game, the sixth starter spot remains up for grabs. Going internal for that spot is an option, but not the best option. With nothing super exciting in free agency, could we see Perry Minasian try to pull off another trade?
The Minnesota Twins just traded for Pablo Lopez to help fortify their rotation. Lopez joins Tyler Mahle, Joe Ryan, Kenta Maeda, and Sonny Gray in their projected Opening Day rotation. Joe Ryan is the only one of those five pitchers under contract past the 2024 season with Mahle, Maeda, and Gray all on expiring deals this season.
With that in mind, FanSided's Robert Murray on The Baseball Insiders podcast suggests Minnesota might be looking to ship off one of their expiring starters. He specifically mentions Sonny Gray and his belief that the Angels would be a good fit there. He notes this is not something he's heard that's been discussed, it's just his opinion.
Should the Angels target Sonny Gray in a trade?
Sonny Gray would be an interesting trade candidate for the Angels to pursue. He's a pitcher the Twins traded for last offseason from the Reds and he pitched well for Minnesota when healthy. The right-hander went 8-5 with a 3.08 ERA in 24 starts and 119.2 innings pitched. He struck out 8.8 batters per nine while walking 2.7/9.
Gray has been consistently solid throughout his ten-year career and would add another veteran to a
I think Gray would slot in nicely in the middle of the Angels rotation and would give them a formidable six-man staff. He's a pitcher with some postseason experience as well, something the Angels staff lacks. Tyler Anderson has made three postseason appearances and two starts. That's three more appearances and two more starts than any Angels starting pitcher.
Gray being in the final year of his deal does lower his trade value to an extent. Minnesota won't just give him away, but knowing he could be out the door and the likelihood that they're not going to pay three veteran starting pitchers what they'll get on the open market, getting something for one of the expiring starters makes sense. This makes him a more attractive and realistic trade candidate for the Angels.
The question here is whether Arte Moreno would allow Perry Minasian to take on Gray's $12.7 million dollar salary for this season while still being able to address the bullpen and potentially catcher/shortstop. If not, it's hard to see a trade like this going down.