Tampa Bay Rays Trade Target: Jon Gray, Rockies SP

DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 31: Starting pitcher Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies throws in the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field on July 31, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - JULY 31: Starting pitcher Jon Gray #55 of the Colorado Rockies throws in the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field on July 31, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

It’s that time of year folks. It’s trade season! The Tampa Bay Rays, and most other teams, will be looking to make some moves to bolster their rosters for the postseason. We have a few players we think the Rays should consider making a move for, so we are going to highlight them throughout the coming weeks. First off, Rockies starter Jon Gray.

I’ve made this argument on multiple occasions, with multiple people. The Rays cannot win the World Series with their current starting rotation. They just can’t. If they don’t get Tyler Glasnow back, I don’t even like their chances in a Wild Card game.

Without Glasnow, Rich Hill would be getting the ball in a Wild Card game, and although Hill can be lights out, he can also have all the lights on in the building and give up a bunch of runs. That’s why going after someone like Gray is a no-brainer for me.

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Who is Jon Gray?

Jon Gray was the third overall pick by the Colorado Rockies in the 2013 MLB Draft and has been a fixture of the Rockies rotation since 2015.

Gray has had some up and down years, but what can you expect pitching in Denver? However, after a bad 2020 season, Jon Gray is having a very nice 2021, and if he wasn’t being overshadowed by German Marquez, might have been the Rockies All-Star.

Gray is pitching to a 6-6 record so far in 2021, with a 3.77 ERA, 122 ERA+, 1.22 WHIP, and 1.2 WAR. Opposing hitters are only hitting .219 off Gray in 2021, and striking out 22% of the time.

Now, Gray would be a rental for the Rays. He is set to be a free agent after the 2021 season, and would likely be out of the Rays price range to resign. However, he likely won’t command the number of prospects that Jose Berrios would, as Berrios has another year of control after this one.

Now, let’s take a look at what the Rays would need to trade in order to get Jon Gray.

What would it take to acquire Jon Gray?

We talked with our friends over at Rox Pile, who do a great job covering the Rockies, and they believe the Rockies would be looking for at least one top-15 prospect, as well as a couple of lower-level prospects to get the deal done.

With that in consideration, this is what we believe would be a fair offer for Jon Gray.

So, why these guys? Let me explain.

I would be shocked if the Rays traded any of their top-10 prospects for Gray, or anyone for that matter. Goss would be the highest-rated prospect going to the Rox, as he is the 12th ranked prospect in the Rays system according to MLB.com.

JJ Goss was the 36th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft by the Rays, but hasn’t pitched much in the minors. Obviously, the cancelation of the 2020 season is the reason for that.

In only nine games in 2019, Goss pitched to an incredible 16-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Pretty incredible for someone straight out of high school. What makes me believe the Rox could be interested in Goss is the unknown.

Standing at 6’3″ scouts believe Goss will be a solid member of the starting rotation one day. His fastball isn’t a burner but reaches 95. He features a wipeout slider and a very nice changeup, so he has the stuff to be a solid pitcher, but he’s still many years away. That’s why I would move him for Gray.

Kevin Padlo is a guy the Rockies know well. Padlo came to the Rays in the deal that brought Corey Dickerson to the Rays, and German Marquez to the Rockies. That worked out, huh?

Anyways, Padlo has no place to play on the Rays and the Rockies aren’t really in a position to turn down young power hitters. Padlo is the Rays 20th overall prospect.

Neither Rockies catcher is hitting over .210 this season, which is why I think they could have interest in Brett Sullivan. Sullivan is slashing .234/.320/.380 with a .700 OPS with Durham in 2021. Sullivan has also played left field for the Bulls in 2021, giving the Rox some interesting depth with him.

The final player going to Colorado would be Kenny Rosenberg. Rosenberg is pitching with Double-A Montgomery right now, working his way back from injury. In four starts this season, Rosenberg has a 1.18 WHIP.

How would Jon Gray help the Tampa Bay Rays?

First off, in my mock trade, the Rays would get a second arm from the Rockies. Stephen Jones is a 23-year-old reliever for the Rockies High-A club. Jones is from Florida, an FSU graduate, and is pitching to a 3.96 ERA in 24 games this season.

Now, Jon Gray would be a major factor in this rotation. With the addition of Gray, the Rays could drop Michael Wacha into the bullpen, or Durham, and slide Gray into the rotation.

The main thing I want to get across about Jon Gray, he’s a bona fide major league starter. He’s above average, with the ability to be a number 2 or 3 in a good rotation. Now, he’s not Jose Berrios, but he’s a very solid option for the Rays right now.

If Glasnow doesn’t come back, having Jon Gray in this rotation should make you feel a whole lot better about the Rays playoff chances.

If Glasnow does come back, imagine a playoff rotation of Glasnow, Hill, Gray, and either McClanahan or Yarbs. I can live with that.

Either way, the Rays need a pitcher, and we believe Jon Gray is one to watch as we get closer to July 31st.

Next. Tampa Bay Rays 2021 MLB All-Star Game Recap. dark