As I wrote in my Inside the Clubhouse column, there is a thought among rival executives that Colorado Rockies pitcher Jon Gray could be among the first players traded ahead of the July 30 trade deadline.
Should the St. Louis Cardinals be interested?
The answer, in short, is yes. The Cardinals’ rotation, besides Jack Flaherty and Adam Wainwright, comes with question marks. Kwang-hyun Kim has been solid, but battled a back injury to start the season. Carlos Martinez and Miles Mikolas are both hurt, with Mikolas’ being the most worrisome of the two considering he has hardly pitched since winning 18 games in his first season with the team in 2018.
Gray, 29, would be a one-year rental since he’s scheduled to become a free agent at the end of this season. But he has been very good for the Rockies this season, with a 2.93 ERA in eight starts, and could be a strong option for the Cardinals as a No. 3 starter behind Flaherty and Wainwright.
Now, Gray becoming a free agent at the end of the season could be a concern for the Cardinals. They may prefer a player who is controllable. But after acquiring Arenado, and re-signing Wainwright and Yadier Molina to one-year deals, this could be their last shot at winning a World Series with this current roster.
And it’s not like Gray would cost a ton. He should be cheaper than a, say, Max Scherzer type and his $6 million contract this season is affordable. He would fit in a Cardinals budget that is a little tight after acquiring Nolan Arenado, who just so happened to come from these Rockies.
So the front offices have worked together and have been able to come to agreements on deals much bigger than any potential Gray trade.
It’s just a thought. But when Gray talks begin, and that could be soon, the Cardinals would be smart to be one of the first calls the Rockies get about the right-hander.