Rockies starter Jon Gray is scheduled to hit free agency at the end of the season. With Colorado having virtually no chance to make the playoffs, that makes the 29-year-old one of the more logical trade candidates in baseball. Indeed, MLBTR’s Steve Adams ranked Gray the #1 trade candidate in the sport last week.
Gray changing teams next month still seems the most likely outcome, but Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reports the Rockies are expected to offer him a contract extension before pulling the trigger on any trade. Of course, the club offering Gray an extension doesn’t guarantee he’d stick around. The Rockies don’t look particularly close to contention, and the CAA Sports client may prefer to field offers from more immediate contenders this winter instead.
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As Rosenthal notes, Colorado’s hitter-friendly home park could also work against them in convincing a pitcher to voluntarily stick around for the long haul. Gray, though, is the rare arm who hasn’t seemed too affected by Coors Field. His career home/road splits are nearly identical, and Gray’s actually been far better at home this season (3.25 ERA, .167/.264/.314 opponents’ slash line) than on the road (6.75 ERA, .350/.400/.538 line).
Extensions for starting pitchers this close to free agency are atypical, as one might expect. Over the past four seasons, only two starters with five-plus years of MLB service time signed extensions. Righty Sonny Gray inked a three-year, $30.5MM guarantee with the Reds in 2019.