We are a month away from Spring Training starting and we still have no idea where Sonny Gray will be pitching, but we’re pretty sure it won’t be for the New York Yankees.
A lot of teams have been mentioned as possible suitors for Gray, but the team that makes the most sense is the Los Angeles Angels.
The Angels have already taken on a couple of has-beens this offseason by acquiring Matt Harvey and Trevor Cahill on one-year deals, so why not take a shot on Sonny Gray?
But in all seriousness, the move makes a lot of sense. Gray would be able to go back to the West Coast and pitch in a division that he’s familiar with in the AL West.
Over five seasons in Oakland he posted an ERA of 3.42 in 900.2 innings pitched with 789 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.25.
In two years with the Yankees he had a 4.51 ERA in 195.2 innings with 182 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.20.
The K/9 and WHIP with the Yankees would tell you that his stuff is still the same, the only difference is that he’s been pitching in a powerhouse AL East division and in ballparks where home runs come cheap.
Plus, pitching for the Angels he’ll have some of the best defense up the middle with Andrelton Simmons at shortstop and Mike Trout in center.
Gray will make $7.5 million this season before becoming a free agent, so it would be another player looking to rebound in a contract season for the Angels — and that’s a contract they can easily absorb.
We all know how desperate the Angels are to make the postseason with Mike Trout, and the main area of weakness is in the pitching staff. They need to grab as many buy-low candidates as possible and hope one or two of them stick.
The return for Gray shouldn’t be that large, but the Yankees hold all the power right now. The Angels do not have a deep farm system, so they likely wouldn’t want to depart with one of their top prospects.
Matt Thaiss is a left-handed hitting first baseman who the Yankees might be interested in. He’s currently ranked as the Angels fifth best prospect by MLB.com and the fourth best first base prospect. He hit 18 home runs between Double-A and Triple last season in 125 games.
Whether or not the two teams matchup, this seems like a move the Angels should be making this offseason in an attempt to make the postseason.