St. Louis Cardinals: 5 Unexplored Pitching Trades

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Sonny Gray

Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Billy Beane is one of the most unpredictable general managers in baseball. So while conventional wisdom tells us he’d never trade away Sonny Gray, his one legit starting pitcher and star player, there’s really no telling what he’d do if the St. Louis Cardinals would engage with him.

According to Baseball Prospectus, Gray’s WARP has jumped every season since 2013, when the A’s called him up and put him in the rotation. Gray was a 5.6-WARP pitcher last year, winning 14 games and surpassing 200 innings for the second straight season. With that wicked slider of his, the righthander posted a career-low 1.08 WHIP in 2015. The St. Louis Cardinals could have used that kind of dominance last year.

Believe it or not, the righthander is still just 26. Gray has sound mechanics — no weird, quirky motion or maximum effort delivery to suggest future shoulder or elbow issues. He won’t be arbitration eligible until 2017 and won’t hit free agency until 2020. If there’s ever been a pitcher the St. Louis Cardinals should empty the farm system for — which is what it would take — this is the guy.

Next: Chris Sale