The Cincinnati Reds may lose two of the starting pitchers who helped lead them to the playoffs in 2020.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Reds are "open" to trading Sonny Gray, who could net a significant return in any deal since he is under team control through the 2023 campaign. It follows, then, that the front office is "gauging what they might get in return" in such a move.
This rumor comes as National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer hits free agency. Rosenthal suggested Cincinnati is "certain to lose" him.
Watching Bauer eventually sign elsewhere and trading Gray could help the NL Central team save money, but it would also be a significant blow to its chances of making the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time since 2012 and 2013.
Gray has been somewhat up-and-down throughout his career. He was a 2015 All-Star on the Oakland Athletics before he posted a 5.69 ERA in 2016, and he was an All-Star again in 2019, this time for Cincinnati after he finished the 2018 season with a 4.90 ERA on the New York Yankees.
Despite the mixed success, the right-hander has been impressive on the Reds since they acquired him via trade from New York.
He finished the 2019 season with a 2.87 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 205 strikeouts in 175.1 innings and was solid again in a shortened 2020 effort with a 3.70 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 72 strikeouts in 56 innings. The Great American Ball Park is considered a hitter-friendly stadium makes the numbers all the more notable.
Gray also figures to be even more important in the rotation in 2021 if Bauer joins another team, which would make the prospect of losing him all the more difficult for Reds fans.
For now, though, the team is apparently just seeing what it may get for the 31-year-old as it attempts to sustain the success it enjoyed in 2020.