Sonny Gray's vocal leadership a breath of fresh air for the Cardinals' organization

The Cardinals' big offseason signing, Sonny Gray, is stepping up in a big way as camp gets underway.
Feb 15, 2024; Jupiter, FL, USA;  St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Sonny Gray, center, talks with
Feb 15, 2024; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Sonny Gray, center, talks with / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals had high expectations this offseason when they inked American League Cy Young Runner-Up Sonny Gray to a three-year, $75 million contract.

Gray is expected to fill the Cardinals' void at the top of their rotation, but the front office and ownership are always quick to point to a player's desire to be in St. Louis as a major factor as well. It's not that the Cardinals don't want to pursue top-end talent, it's that when they do, they want to know that they are bought into being a Cardinal.

Sonny Gray has looked the part in every way during the early days of camp. And based on past reviews, he'll continue to embody what it means to be a Cardinal for the duration of his time in St. Louis.

Gray, if you've listened to him in interviews, is a very talkative guy. He loves baseball, and he loves sharing the game with others. He's the kind of guy who's going to tell you what he thinks and the thought process behind everything he does, and having that kind of tone set for young pitchers in camp can send shockwaves through the organization for years to come.

Adam Wainwright is gone now, so if there was ever an offseason to bring in a veteran like Gray, it was this one. In many ways, Gray has the opportunity to have a similar impact on the future of the Cardinals as Wainwright's former mentor, Chris Carpenter, two decades ago this year.

Cardinals fans are already growing fonder of Gray as the days go on, and that sentiment will likely continue as we see him work with other pitchers on the Cardinals staff, as well as witness his competitive nature on the field. For a club that desperately needs to prove something this season, Gray is the right guy to lead the way from the mound.