The Cincinnati Reds announced on Sunday that they have traded one of their top starting pitchers, Sonny Gray along with minor-league arm Francis Peguero to the Minnesota Twins for their top draft pick in hurler Chase Petty.
Gray regressed a bit in 2021, though he had to contend with a back issue and a groin injury that limited his campaign to just 135.1 innings. The 32-year-old righty was enjoying a resurgence with the Reds after an unsuccessful stint with the Yankees from the summer of 2017 to 2018.
He picked up his second-career All-Star Game nod in his first year in Cincinnati (2019), going 11-8 with a 2.87 ERA, 1.084 WHIP, and 205 strikeouts in 175.1 innings pitched. It was his best season since arriving on the scene in 2015 with the Oakland Athletics in which he 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA and 169 punchouts over 208 innings.
In 191.1 innings between 2020 and 2021, Gray’s ERA swelled to 4.05 but his strikeouts per nine innings jumped up to 10.7.
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Gray is just the latest Reds starter of note to depart the franchise. After Trevor Bauer won the 2020 NL Cy Young with the team, he signed a monster deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their remaining ace, Luis Castillo, has seen his name mired in trade rumors for much of the last calendar year.
Meanwhile, the Twins are getting a top-of-the-rotation caliber arm in Gray, which is something they desperately needed after trading Jose Berrios to the Toronto Blue Jays at the trade deadline last season. The spot for the No. 1 slot within the starting staff is wide-open as Kenta Maeda and Joe Ryan left plenty to be desired at the top. They also picked up Dylan Bundy before the lockout.
According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, Minnesota is not done looking for starting pitching help, either.
To get Gray, Minnesota had to send its first-round draft pick (No. 27 overall) in Petty to the Reds. The 6-foot-1 righty was selected from Mainland Regional in New Jersey and was immediately touted as Minnesota’s No. 7 ranked prospect in their farm system.
Petty will add to the Reds’ stable of young arms brewing in their farm system. Four of the team’s top 10 prospects are pitchers, per MLB.com.