St. Louis Cardinals | Pitcher Sonny Gray signs for three seasons

(St. Louis) The St. Louis Cardinals made their biggest splash of the offseason by adding pitcher Sonny Gray to their roster on a three-year contract Monday.

Gray was the finalist for the Cy Young Award this year, trailing only Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees.

The Missouri club is trying to reshape its rotation after a difficult year. Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak had already reached an agreement with Kyle Gibson and Lance Lynn, who signed one-season pacts.

But Mozeliak then indicated that the Cardinals had not reached “the finish line”. A week later, they landed one of the best pitchers on the free agent market.

“We were hoping to come to an agreement with a few launchers to rely on to [accumuler] the innings, Mozeliak said. By accomplishing this, we were hoping to pull off a bigger hit, and that’s obviously the case with Sonny. »

The 34-year-old Gray went 8-8 with a 2.79 ERA with the Minnesota Twins in 2023. He declined the Twins’ qualifying offer to earn an additional draft pick next year as compensation.

The Cardinals will lose their second-best pick. It might be a small price to pay for a marked improvement in their rotation.

“At this point in my career, I want to win,” Gray said during a press conference at Busch Stadium. I come to an organization like St. Louis – the tradition, just walking here in the morning and seeing everything – the history is there. The feelings are there. It’s a baseball town and I’m excited to be a part of it. »

Selected in the first round by the Athletics, Gray spent four seasons with Oakland. He then had a difficult season in 2018 with the Yankees before emerging in 2019 in the uniform of the Cincinnati Reds. He boasted a 23-20 record and a 3.89 ERA in three seasons with the Reds.

Gray was then traded to the Twins last year, but his first season with the club was plagued by injuries. He bounced back this year with his best campaign in 11 years in major league baseball.

The Cardinals went 71-91 last season, their worst record since 1995, and the pitchers are to blame. The rotation maintained an average of 5.08, the fifth worst in major league baseball, and with the relief, the average increased to 4.79, in 24e rank of the circuit.

Right-hander Mike Mikolas and left-hander Steven Matz were the only two starters with valid agreements for 2024 before the free agent market opened.

“Going into the off-season, we knew he was going to be a very interesting guy,” Mozeliak said. We are happy with where we are right now because we were able to add these three pitchers. »

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