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OC Register: Angels Offseason Options: Sonny Gray


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(This is the latest in a series of quick profiles on players who fit for the Angels to add over the winter. They are purely “informed speculation,” based on what we know about the Angels’ roster needs along with General Manager Billy Eppler’s preferences and history. We’ll have a new one every weekday, until the GM Meetings, which are the unofficial start of the hot stove season.)

Sonny Gray, RHP New York Yankees

The basics: Gray, who will be 29 next season, was once one of the better young pitchers in the majors. He finished third in the Cy Young voting in 2015. He was traded from the Oakland A’s to the Yankees in the middle of 2017, and he’s struggled since then.

2018 season: Gray had a 4.90 ERA in 30 games, including 23 starts. He pitched 130-1/3 innings.

Contract status: Gray has one year left before free agency. He’s eligible for arbitration this winter, due to make around $9 million.

Why he makes sense: The Angels need starting pitching, and Gray figures to be available without much outlay in terms of prospects. Yankees GM Brian Cashman essentially announced last week that he’d be shopping Gray over the winter. The Angels, or whatever team ends up with Gray, will be banking on him returning to form out of the crucible of New York, where he’s become a lightning rod for criticism. Gray had a 3.17 ERA on the road this season, suggesting a change of scenery could help him. His average fastball velocity this season was 93.93 mph, compared with 94.20 mph in 2015. His other numbers measuring quality of contact are about the same as when he was in Oakland, with one notable difference being he’s thrown fewer pitches in the strike zone. He had a career-worst 3.9 walks per nine innings, which might simply suggest that he was pitching too passively in the tough hitters environments of the American League East. Maybe getting him to the more spacious parks of the AL West would restore his confidence.

Why he doesn’t: There will be plenty of other teams that also see the upside in the Gray, so the Angels wouldn’t be able to get him for free. There would be some prospect cost. Also, he’s going to make $9 million, which eats up almost one-third of the Angels estimated space for additional payroll. That’s a significant gamble if he doesn’t bounce back. The Yankees might eat some of that, but they’d likely require the Angels to part with a better prospect.

Previous players: C J.T. Realmuto, RHP Nate Eovaldi.

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1 minute ago, wopphil said:

If he is healthy, I am all for bringing him in. And non-tendering Shoemaker and J.C. Ramirez would cover almost the entirety of Gray's salary.

Gain 1 lose 2?  seems a negative sum equation.  
Yes yes i know both were hurt last year and the innings weren't equal, but by all account both will be next year so i,m not sure i see that as a benefit. 

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20 minutes ago, wopphil said:

If he is healthy, I am all for bringing him in. And non-tendering Shoemaker and J.C. Ramirez would cover almost the entirety of Gray's salary.

Not Quite.

Shoemaker is on par for 4.3, Ramirez 1.9. But I think they'll get Shoe for less, and will non-tender Ramirez, as well as possibly Bedrosian and Tropeano. Hate to give up on talent like that, but Bedrosian's velocity drop is concerning, and what has Tropeano actually proved in the majors?

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6 minutes ago, wopphil said:

If he is healthy, I am all for bringing him in. And non-tendering Shoemaker and J.C. Ramirez would cover almost the entirety of Gray's salary.

I like Ramirez, but I'm OK letting Shoe go.

Do we really only have $27M to spend on upgrades? Richards is gone, that's $7.3M right there. Kinsler is gone, so we saved at $5M from his salary. Valbuena is gone that's another $8.0M.

6 players under contract for 2019 will make ~$113M. The rest are arbitration eligible or league minimum.  The luxury tax is:

2019: $206 million

2020: $208 million

2021: $210 million

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Just now, Ace-Of-Diamonds said:

I like Ramirez, but I'm OK letting Shoe go.

Do we really only have $27M to spend on upgrades? Richards is gone, that's $7.3M right there. Kinsler is gone, so we saved at $5M from his salary. Valbuena is gone that's another $8.0M.

6 players under contract for 2019 will make ~$113M. The rest are arbitration eligible or league minimum.  The luxury tax is:

2019: $206 million

2020: $208 million

2021: $210 million

Ramirez is definitely out until Mid-May, but More likely until Mid-August at least. While you can come back in one year from TJ, average recovery is closer to 18 months. So saying he's out until 2020 isn't a stretch of the imagination.

And for the other point, the 25-man opening day payroll the past few years has been around 167 Million. Right now, they have 115 committed before arbitration, with probably around 20M there between Heaney, Skaggs, Shoemaker, Parker, Alvarez, Bedrosian, Robles, etc.

So that leaves roughly 30M in $$$ to spend. They can go maybe to $40.

 

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2 hours ago, Hubs said:

I'd bet you he'll get more. Like 4/60 or 5/85. Seriously.

Are you sure of that?    Eovaldi has only pitched 111 innings (in 2018) since after the 2016 season, and the 54 innings with the Red Sux after being traded from the Rays during this season was the first time he's had a sub 4.00 ERA since 2013 in the NL.    I can't see 54 innings with the Red Sux, as solid as they were aside from the 5 innings/start, allowing him to capitalize salary wise as you are saying.

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3 hours ago, Dtwncbad said:

I have zero enthusiasm for a pitcher who has gone backwards in velocity and control, had a 4.90 era last year and only logged 130 innings.

Aim higher.

Drop in velocity ? Do you have anything to prove this? His fastball velocity is down 3/10ths of a mph since 2016. 

 

Also look at his stats outside of yankee stadium. Did you even bother to read the article before posting? 

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It seems like any direction the Angels go in acquiring starting pitching this offseason, they'll be incurring some considerable risk. Sonny Gray good enough that he's going to cost something, but comes with enough red flags that you're taking a serious risk. Maybe some team will get desperate enough to pay a high price for him, I just hope that team isn't the Angels. 

If Sonny Gray is going to be an Angel, it better be a great deal for the team. 

Same wi Nate Eovaldi. We need innings, and with him, you run the risk of getting very little in the way of innings. So they could end up spending some cash for nothing in the end. 

I like Gray, and I really like Eovaldi, but I get the feeling they're going to cost a lot more than I'd be comfortable sacrificing. 

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Would what Chatwood got last offseason (3 years/38M) be a good estimate for Eovaldi?

Similarish career numbers 
Eovaldi IP 850 H/9 9.4 K/9 6.8 BB/9 2.7 WHIP 1.35 ERA 4.16 FIP 3.82 ERA+ 96
Chatwood IP 647 H/9 9.2 K/9 6.1 BB/9 4.2 WHIP 1.49 ERA 4.31 FIP 4.58 ERA+ 106

Chatwood was a year younger and had 2 seasons post TJ's, while Eovaldi is 1 season removed from TJ's but having a better walk year

 

Gray will cost 9M and prospect(s)

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6 hours ago, vladdy#27 said:

Would what Chatwood got last offseason (3 years/38M) be a good estimate for Eovaldi?

Similarish career numbers 
Eovaldi IP 850 H/9 9.4 K/9 6.8 BB/9 2.7 WHIP 1.35 ERA 4.16 FIP 3.82 ERA+ 96
Chatwood IP 647 H/9 9.2 K/9 6.1 BB/9 4.2 WHIP 1.49 ERA 4.31 FIP 4.58 ERA+ 106

Chatwood was a year younger and had 2 seasons post TJ's, while Eovaldi is 1 season removed from TJ's but having a better walk year

 

Gray will cost 9M and prospect(s)

I think Chatwood is a good comp for Eovaldi

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13 minutes ago, True Grich said:

I thought I heard on mlbnetwork radio or some where else that the type of injury or the level of his injury Eovaldi had to his elbow makes him more likely to injure it again.  I don't remember the specifics, but it may be of concern.

Oh geez. And then you figure the second he signs with us, his injury chances go even higher.

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