As offseason GM meetings come to a close on Friday, it comes as no surprise that the San Diego Padres have been one of the more talked about clubs in the Scottsdale extravaganza.
There are many questions that GM AJ Preller will need to answer before the San Diego Padres take the field in 2020, one of the most important seasons in the franchise’s recent history.
Maybe the most important question that needs answering hovers around the make-up of the starting pitching staff for 2020.
A lot of questions about whether they will sign a free-agent like Stephen Strasburg are being discussed, but so are trade options that can hopefully add some punch to a promising staff already in place.
One of the rumored names that have been linked to the Padres’ discussions has been Jon Gray, a 28-year-old starter of the Colorado Rockies.
Gray is an interesting candidate for the Padres, given his relative youth, and his decent numbers throughout the first four-plus seasons spent in the hitter’s paradise known as Coors’ Field.
Gray has posted ERAs under 4.00 in two of the past three seasons and has averaged roughly a strikeout per inning in his career, all spent pitching at Coors’.
Another positive, if you’re a Padres’ fan looking at this option with optimism, is that Gray is under team control through the 2021 season, which unfortunately also comes with the caveat of a higher price tag for the young pitcher.
Gray has been the ace of the Rockies for the last few seasons and seemingly has plenty left in the tank, being just 28 and having a mostly clean bill of health in regards to his arm.
The biggest question at this point will be the cost for a player like Gray, as well as whether dealing inter-division with the Rockies will complicate negotiations for obvious reasons.
Nothing would hurt the Rockies more than seeing their former ace headline an upstart Padres team that they battle for playoff positions as well as have to face close to 20 times per season.
The question that AJ Preller will face if the rumors come to fruition and the Padres do look into Gray will be what level prospect(s) will have to be sacrificed for the pitcher. If the price is right, though, Gray could be a really good option for the Padres who still need plenty of help with molding their staff.
The opportunities to sign a big-name free agent like Strasburg or Gerrit Cole are still on the table, but taking a look at a trade option like Jon Gray could make a surprise impact on a rotation looking to lead the Padres to the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons.