Pittsburgh Pirates: 3 Starting Pitchers the Team Should Target
Back during the Pittsburgh Pirates three straight playoff runs one name that was consistently brought up was Sonny Gray. Gray was the ace of the Oakland Athletics staff and was on a team that was looking to sell in 2015 after three playoff years themselves.
Instead, the Athletics held onto him until last season when they dealt him to the New York Yankees. The transition to New York has not gone well, and at this point he looks to be the most obvious candidate to be replaced in their rotation. So why should the Pittsburgh Pirates target him?
Well, he is the exact thing that the Pittsburgh Pirates look for in starters. That is former impressive arm who needs a change of scenery and a revamped approach to his craft. Gray is coming off of a strong 2017 showing where he pitched to a 3.55 ERA. However, he has gone in the completely wrong direction this year with an ERA of 5.34.
However, his peripherals are a little better with a FIP of 4.42 and an xFIP of 4.25. Also, he is still inducing ground balls are a solid rate of 48 percent. Like Archer, the key for Gray could be him being moved out of the AL East and even more so Yankee stadium. On the road, Gray has a solid ERA of 3.62, but at Yankee stadium his ERA of north of 7.00.
So a move from the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium to PNC Park could really benefit him. At this point, the Yankees would be selling low on Gray, but it seems likely that the Yankees are ready to cut ties. The Bucs should buy low by giving up middle of the road prospects and have Gray through next season.