Good News: Braves turn attention to free agent starting pitcher…

REPORTS: Braves turn attention to free agent starting pitcher Sonny Gray.

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After not being able to lure Aaron Nola out of Philadelphia, the Braves reportedly are trying to lure Gray out of Minnesota.

Just hours after striking out on their efforts to lure starting pitcher Aaron Nola from the Philadelphia Phillies, the Atlanta Braves are reportedly turning their attention to former Minnesota Twins starter Sonny Gray.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi was the first with the report.

Gray, 34, went 8-8 with a 2.79 ERA in 32 starts for the Twins in 2023. Striking out 183 in his 184 innings, he carried MLB’s best Fielding Independent Pitching at 2.83 and MLB’s lowest homer rate, at 0.4 HR/9.

Being named an All-Star for only the third time in his career, Gray was the runner up in the American League’s Cy Young voting to eventual winner Blake Snell.

Gray’s started 22 or more games in every year of his career after his partial season debut in 2013, with mostly positive results. His ERA of 2.79 is the third time he’s finished with an ERA under 3.00. His average season, per Baseball Reference, would come out to an 12-11 record with a 3.47 ERA in 195 innings.

Being from the South – Gray went to Smyrna HS in Tennessee and attending Vanderbilt – is a selling point in Atlanta’s favor as they look for a starter to reinforce the rotation.

One of the downsides of Gray (and Blake Snell, and Shohei Ohtani) is that Minnesota tagged Gray with the qualifying offer after the season, causing Atlanta to forfeit their 2nd and 5th-highest draft picks in the 2024 Draft were they to sign him to a contract. It’s a tougher pill to swallow when the contract’s a bit shorter, as the 34 year-old Gray’s is expected to be when compared to the seven year deal Nola signed this morning and what the 30 year-old Snell is probably going to receive.

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